Uber Pushes for Ride-Sharing in Nevada

Popular ride-sharing network company Uber is intent on becoming a legal service in Nevada. After a highly anticipated launch last October, the billion-dollar company was abruptly halted after officials declared them to not be operating in accordance to state law.

There are currently 22 jurisdictions with laws in place to make ride-sharing transportation company Uber, and those like them, legal. Unfortunately, Nevada, and more specifically, Las Vegas, is not one of them. Over 26,000 people have recently signed a petition asking Governor Brian Sandoval and Attorney General Adam Laxalt to pave the way to make Uber able to operate in the state. After only a few hours of operation last October, the service was quickly shut down.

The state’s limousine and taxicab industry doesn’t seem to be as welcoming. They urge Uber to apply for the licensing, get all the inspections, pay for insurance and inspections, and follow the same rules they have to. Uber feels they do not have to, citing that they consider themselves a technology company, not a transportation provider.

The 78th Nevada legislative session begins on February 2, and while there were a few bill draft titles filed on the topic of state transportation regulations, none of them had anything to do with companies like Uber, and if they should be allowed. Senator Scott Hammond said, “I’ve talked with both sides, but I haven’t seen one piece of legislation addressing this.”

“This isn’t just about taxicabs, either. These tech companies span a number of industries, and I relish the opportunity to hear from both sides of the issue to see if there’s a way to make it work, and I look forward to the challenge,” Hammond said. Hammond doesn’t see anything drafted until May or June on the matter and added, “They’re going to have to explain to us why we should treat them differently from the taxi companies.”

In October, just days after Uber began providing rides in Vegas, Reno, and Carson City, the Washington D.C. Council voted 12-1 in favor of Uber. Union taxi drivers left the council chamber in disgust. The D.C. Council approved of a plan which laid the framework for just how much insurance coverage was required by Uber for when their drivers were both awaiting a hail by app, and when a paying customer was in their car. The council also approved of Uber providing background checks on drivers as opposed to FBI checks.

The legislation also included a “trade dress” requirement, which would be used to identify ride-sharking vehicles. The famous pink mustaches found on the grills of Lyft drivers, an Uber competitor, were found acceptable, and provide a solid example of such jargon.