City Plans To Continue Ticketing Uber Drivers

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) - The City of Fayetteville is using undercover officers to bust Uber drivers. This after officials say the national ridesharing company is breaking city laws.

Two Uber drivers were ticketed over the weekend in Fayetteville, after officers said they were illegally operating as taxis.

Undercover officers used the service Saturday (Sept. 13) around 9 p.m., then ticketed their driver, Aaron Welch, after getting to their destination, according to the Fayetteville Police Department.

"I was wondering if I was able to drive home that night, or if I would have to find another way home, I just didn't know," Welch said.

Welch was cited on suspicion of operating without public convenience and necessity, operating without a taxi permit and operating without a taxi inspection decal, according to the traffic summons issued to the driver. The citations added up to a $185 fine. He said the costs will be covered by Uber, but added he wants answers as to why the city is trying to shut the service down in town.

"Uber is not a cab service, they are a tech company that connects drivers like me with people who need a ride somewhere," he said.

City Attorney Kit Williams argues Uber is a taxi service. He said the ridesharing service has not followed the regulations and permit process needed for taxi cabs to operate in the city.

"They are providing rides to strangers for money," he said. "If that's not a taxi service, I don't know what is. I wrote them a letter back in July saying you really should not try to operate here until you comply with the city ordinance."

The city attorney said the company never responded to his letter.

"We are just a little city and they are a big internet company, so they don't need to bother writing us back, I guess," Williams said.

In a statement issued by Uber, the company says it's unfortunate that Uber drivers are being targeted despite ongoing conversations with city officials on regulations.

"Every partner on the road has undergone a thorough background check, and every ride on the Uber platform is insured up to $1M - 3x what is required of taxis in the city," said Taylor Bennett, with Uber Technologies Inc. "We're eager to work together to find a permanent home for Uber in Fayetteville, but until then, using valuable public resources to unfairly cite drivers trying to make a living and help residents get around town is wasteful, counter-productive, and bad for the city."

Williams said police will continue to crack down on Uber drivers as long as they remain out of compliance with city laws.

"I don't know if the consequences are going to escalate from what they were last weekend or not," Welch said. "A $200 fine isn't really that big of a deal when you can make close to that in just one evening."

The city attorney said passengers are not breaking any city ordinances by riding in an Uber vehicle.

9 comments

    • Aaron Welch

      I wish that this was the case, because I live in Rogers, but unfortunately all of the business is down in Fayetteville – especially near Dickson.

  • Leten Uno

    What I say is an opinion only. No facts support this and no accusations are being made.
    My church ran a free taxi service with the church van. We bought extra insurance and were fully covered in the event of an accident. We ran for almost two months hauling people off Dickson street for free. We did accept donations. On several occasion we found sober drivers to take the cars home with the drivers. We lead several people to the church. We got several people into treatment programs. Everyone was used was a volunteer who had undergone proper background checks. All insurance was fully compliant.
    It’s possible the City and FPD targeted us to stop. I’m told by people with opinions, on some long weekends, football weekends there are as many as 20-25 DWI/DUI written. One look at the jail log and it’s not hard to believe that. If these are first offenses it can be up to $25,000 in revenue. Local attorney’s can bank twice that for defense. And judges and courts stay busy. And if 2nd or 3rd offenses, combined with whatever else they find in the car, on you or in your record it’s possible for the revenue for a long or holiday weekend to reach $100,000 a weekend between primary charges, ancillary fines and attorney fees. That’s millions a year that a method like this could take away from the city, county and state coffers. Choose sides, would you rather have the money or save peoples lives.

  • moneymyst

    No doubt who will win this battle, sixteenth letter in the alphabet. No doubt who will waste a lot of taxpayer money in the process, sixth letter in the alphabet.

  • Honey Badger

    The city is only stopping this because they can’t collect tax from it. Politicians don’t want people to help others unless they themselves can benefit from it.

  • Mike

    It’s all about the money nothing else… what there doing is entrapment.. and chicken $hit.. They found a way to get around the communist bull.. “Oh you cant do that in our city” Sounds like Hitler hu?

  • Lucy

    So is Fayetteville saying you also can’t help out with gas to get a ride from a friend either? LOL for once maybe someone should call the global warmists, tell them Fayetteville isn’t allowing car pools.

  • Will

    Mr. Williams is a scumbag lawyer that is only interested in money, not the public welfare. You can hear the arrogance in his comments.

    Greedy politicians are ruining this country. There is no hope from the little guy any more.

Comments are closed.