Uber App Under Fire in Michigan Legislature
Michigan lawmakers are trying to put a leash on public transportation businesses like Uber. A couple of bills were recently introduced in the State Legislature in hopes of forcing drivers participating in Uber’s network to be held to the same controls as other transportation services.
Although lawmakers like Senator Rick Jones claim they are not interested in controlling the Uber app, they do want to gain control over its drivers. One of the bills, Senate Bill 0184, would force vehicles being used to drive Michiganders around to undergo similar regulations to limousine services. The other, Senate Bill 0188, would set insurance standards and require drivers to obtain a chauffeur’s license.
This legislation would even go a step further by mandating background checks on all drivers.
Of course, this idea is not settling very well with Uber’s Michigan chapter, who says they already do background checks, but forcing drivers to get a chauffeur’s license would be inconvenient. "All of these things are barriers for a part-time driver like an Uber X driver to be able to quickly and easily get onto the platform, and they're not actually addressing a safety question," said Mike White with Uber.
While it is hard to tell if any of these bills will hold any weight during the current session, the argument of strict regulation is something the Michigan Legislature seems to have no difficulty understanding. Unfortunately, if these bills pass, they will strip away the charm and flexibility one experiences when using transportation service apps.