FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – The smartphone application Uber connects people looking for rides to local drivers and considers itself a ride-sharing service. City attorney Kit Williams said the service is not authorized to run in Fayetteville because it is a taxi service and doesn’t have the proper permits.
Williams said in order for the company to legally gives rides in exchange for money, the drivers need to have insurance, city and police permits and need to have their cars inspected for safety.
“None of this has been done by Uber, they have not made any attempt to comply with any of the city’s regulations, so therefore they are not authorized to operate here,” Williams said.
The company released a statement that said, “Uber is a technology company that connects riders and drivers through a mobile app. We do not own any vehicles or hire any drivers.”
Brice Curry owns Dynasty Transportation that operates in Fayetteville. He said he has to go through a length process to get his drivers and vehicles legal to operate.
“You’re not going to have that with this company right now, if a driver gets a complaint or anything like that, all Uber does is turn off their app…that’s it, that’s their punishment,” Curry said.
Uber is known for its low costs and quick response time, but Curry said he is concerned about the validity of the service.
“But is that alternative safe? That’s what they are going to have to look at, and it’s going to be the customer that makes the decision in the end,” Curry said.
In Uber’s user agreements, the company states, “Riders may be exposed to transportation that is potentially dangerous, offensive, harmful to minors, unsafe or other objectionable.”
The service began operating in Fayetteville Labor Day weekend.