Lawmakers to vote on bill that could cripple Uber and Lyft in Ne - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Lawmakers to vote on bill that could cripple Uber and Lyft in Nevada

Posted: Updated:
Screen captures of Uber and Lyft show each ride-sharing service in operation for the first time in Las Vegas since Nevada Transportation Authority approved them on Sept. 14, 2015. Screen captures of Uber and Lyft show each ride-sharing service in operation for the first time in Las Vegas since Nevada Transportation Authority approved them on Sept. 14, 2015.
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

A bill that could cripple ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft has a chance at passing by the end of this week.

Lawmakers have been working on Senate Bill 226 since Feb., but a new amendment released over Memorial Day weekend caused executives with Uber and Lyft to say these new regulations would make ride sharing in Nevada "nearly impossible." The companies accused lawmakers of trying to sneak the provision in at the last minute as the legislative session comes to a close.

The bill has been discussed in the Ways and Means Committee, which consists of nine democrats and five republicans. If it passes through the committee, the bill will then be sent to the floor.

Carl Odom, a driver who works for both companies, said he's been doing his best to get someone on the phone to hear him out.

"Straight to voicemail. I've contacted about 13 of them," he said. "It's republicans and democrats. It's both sides of the chain."

Odom said, if the bill passes, he would be incapable of providing for his family. He's particularly concerned with the amendment which would require him to carry a minimum of $1,500,000 in insurance coverage. He blamed taxicab companies for paying off lawmakers.

"To call a cab to take two hours to get to you and then get charged $30 to $40? I don't think they understand," he said. "(These cab companies) have been here for decades. They've been penny-pinching everyone around, and now when someone new on the block is taking their customers. They're not liking it."


Frank Perconte, the president of Pacific Automotive Warehouse, has also been writing letters. He said he supports the legislation and has stickers all over his business with the Uber logo crossed out in red.

"I have taken an Uber," Perconte admitted. "I took it in California, but I won't take them here!"

Perconte said a big portion of his clients are in the taxi industry. He said he thinks people in Nevada need to support local businesses instead of ride sharing apps based in other parts of the country.

"No one is saying that they have to leave. (Uber and Lyft) are saying that! I think they're using it as a strong arm tactic," he said. "Based on what I'm hearing, they're not operating according to the same set of rules ... If they don't want to pay a licensing fee, then let them leave."

Representatives for Uber and Lyft argued the whole idea of lawmakers trying to "even the playing field" is simply untrue. While their drivers would have to carry $1,500,000 in insurance coverage upon the passage of this amendment, taxicab drivers would still only have to carry $300,000. The companies also disagreed with the idea of forcing prospective drivers to pay hundreds of dollars for a business license before they're even able to apply for a job.

"Preemptive licensing is not required of any other business or industry and places a costly and cumbersome task on drivers without any guarantee of employment," wrote a PR representative for Uber.

A source close to FOX5 said the Ways and Means Committee will likely vote on the bill by end of Tuesday.

Copyright 2017 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
Fox 5
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KVVU Broadcasting Corporation, Las Vegas, NV and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.