- Associated Press - Thursday, September 24, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Several taxi companies and airports in Arkansas are making their opinions heard as state officials consider state regulations in an effort govern ride-sharing services such as Uber.

A hearing was held Wednesday before the Public Service Commission to discuss the issue. The three-member board didn’t take action, but it’s expected to issue regulations within the next two months. Regulations proposed by the commission must pass a legislative review before they become final.

Three taxi companies attended the hearing to express concerns over the threat ride-sharing services pose to their businesses, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1FwfOST ) reported. The companies claimed Uber drivers in northwest Arkansas only work during the busiest times of the week, such as weekend nights in downtown Fayetteville and University of Arkansas football games.

They argued that ride-sharing services essentially have become taxi companies but aren’t held to the same regulatory and insurance requirements.

The state’s two largest airports, Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport/Adams Field in Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport in Highfill, asked to be exempt from the regulations, so they’re able to charge fees to transportation network companies, as they do with cab companies.

Under the proposed rules, prospective drivers would undergo criminal background checks and driving history reports. Ride-sharing companies would be prohibited from hiring drivers who have been convicted within the past seven years of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, fraud, theft, sexual offenses, using a motor vehicle to commit a felony, crimes involving property damage and acts of violence or terror.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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