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Cincy Council ready to act on ridesharing regulations

Cincinnati Council could vote Wednesday on rules and regulations for transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft.  

A committee approved the ordinance Tuesday after a lengthy debate.  

A council aide said the measure will allow the city to provide a 21st century public transportation service.  

“Over Lyft should stay in Cincinnati because it is a safe, efficient way to move around the city,” said Christy Mitchell who drives for Lyft.  “It builds community and is a positive influence in our area.”

Transportation network companies will have to have a city license to operate.   Besides licensing, Uber and Lyft drivers will have to meet minimum insurance requirements, pass a mandatory criminal background and have annual vehicle inspections.  

Some city taxi drivers had been calling for Uber and Lyft to face the same regulations they do.   Taxi operator Andrew Agee wondered why Council needed to approve the new measures.

“Rideshare companies in our current market are operating exactly like our Class B limousines,” Agee said.  “The cab is pre-arranged, or drivers pre-arranged, it comes, it picks them up and they pay via credit card or on an account.  I don’t see a reason to separate those services from the code you already have enforced in your city.”

Some Council members also said since this is a growing and changing industry further regulation and changes will likely have to be considered in the future.