Lyft and Uber say they will die and leave Nevada if new bill pas - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Lyft and Uber say they will die and leave Nevada if new bill passes

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Ride-share companies may be forced to leave Nevada if amendment to bill passes (FOX5). Ride-share companies may be forced to leave Nevada if amendment to bill passes (FOX5).
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft say state lawmakers have introduced new legislation that would completely kill business. The companies are particularly upset over a new amendment to Senate Bill 266 that was announced over Memorial Day weekend.

Representatives for both companies accused the taxi cab association of donating money to politicians who intentionally added in the provisions late.

Molly Ellery is a spokesperson for Argentum Partners, the PR company for Uber. She accused lawmakers of proposing "obscene requirements" that wouldn't apply to taxis.

"This past Friday at 11:35 p.m., the taxi cab association and its lobbyists snuck a controversial amendment into a bill which would effectively end Uber in Nevada," she wrote. "This amendment was added with no discussion, committee hearing or public debate, circumnavigating the critical parts of the legislative process. If passed, this amendment would give taxi cabs a monopoly over Nevada’s transportation."

Chelsea Harrison, a senior policy communications manager for Lyft, also emailed a statement to FOX5.

"This amendment, attached to SB 226 at the eleventh hour without any discussion among stakeholders, would make true ridesharing in Nevada nearly impossible," Harrison wrote. "Singling out ridesharing with licensing requirements not placed on any other business in the state is a blatant attempt by the taxi industry to squash competition and innovation."

Legislators on the Way and Means Committee discussed the bill on Monday morning in Carson City. Uber and Lyft are particularly upset over regulations that would force drivers to pay for business licenses before applying for a job and a regulation that would force them to carry a minimum of $1.5 million in insurance coverage.

"Taxis are only required to hold $300,000 when providing rides to passengers," Ellery wrote. "These insurance requirements would be the highest in the county, multiplying current UBER premiums in Nevada five times. These obscene requirements are only being placed on ridesharing companies such as UBER while the taxi companies are exempt."

Locals and tourists interviewed for this story unanimously agreed that ridesharing companies provide a better service than taxis.

"Sounds like (the taxi companies) are being a bunch of crybabies," said one man. "There's competition in your job. There's competition in my job. There's competition in their job. That's something America has always been good at, adversity. Let's do it."

Alyssa Escudero, who lives in Las Vegas, said she wouldn't even consider taking a taxi even if ridesharing services left Nevada.

"I would probably call a friend or something," she said. "I just don't think that it's worth it to take a cab anymore, especially knowing that there have been other options so you don't have to deal with rude cab drivers."

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