Uber Halts Operations in Nevada


Uber, the ride-sharing company that has recently given regular taxi-operators competition in several states, will halt its operations in Nevada following a court order. The company said more than 1,000 jobs will be lost.A Washoe District County Court sided with Nevada regarding concerns that the company should be regulated like other taxi operators. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the case was referred to the District Court by Nevada’s Supreme Court.

Unlike other transportation entities, where customers make phone calls to taxi companies, Uber has an app that customers can install on their smartphones to serve the same purpose. The new entity has become popular over the years, taking up a sizeable market segment from regular taxi companies.

Regular taxi cab companies want the new entrants in the market to be subjected to the same regulations that apply to them. Insurance companies also want Uber to pay more expensive premiums. While Uber could have chosen to continue offering services while appealing the decision, the company decided to halt the services altogether. Company spokesperson Eva Berhend said the institution will work with the state to come up with a regulatory framework that will allow customers to enjoy the innovation and flexibility that Uber offers.

The company said that the court’s decision which led it to halt its operations in Nevada has brought financial worries to its employees in the state who have bills to pay. Uber will protest the move by the state to force them to discontinue operating. The institution has collected more than 18,000 signatures from its customers on a petition it intends to forward to state officials.

The court ruling comes on the heels of other bad news that the company received. Early this week the institution learned that its drivers will no longer be allowed to pick up passengers from Kentucky’s Louisville Airport. Prior to that, Travis Kalanick, the company’s chief operating officer, created controversy when he suggested at a private diner that the institution should employ journalists to investigate and write negative reports on those who make Uber look bad in the media.

The problems have also followed Uber to New York City. The New York Post reported this week that David Greenfield, a member of the City Council from Brooklyn, wants to introduce a bill that will limit taxi companies from charging customers more than twice the regular rate. While the legislation is meant to affect other taxi operators, Uber is at the center of Greenfield’s bill.

The ride-sharing company is said to have hiked prices during bad weather last December. New York residents tweeted that Uber charged them as much as $132 for crosstown trips that normally cost less than $20. The company is reported to have texted its drivers about fare surges during bad weather. This year the company accepted New York Attorney General’s request not to surge its prices during natural disasters and emergencies. The drivers may, however, surge prices during holidays or regular storms.

City councilman Travis Greenfield said there is no difference between gouging and surge-pricing. He said the city council legislated the taxi business for the purpose of stopping gouging. Greenfield’s legislation is likely to increase Uber more worries following Nevada’s court decision that has made the ride-sharing company halt its operations in the state.

By Benedicto Ateku

The Huffington Post
New York Post
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Photo by bfishadow – Flickr License

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