This morning – the day of New Year’s Eve – the city of Boise issued a cease-and-desist order to Uber and advised residents not to use the car service, as Uber began charging for rides despite not having concluded negotiations with the city over background checks for drivers and insurance and safety for the cars. “These minimum standards for public safety are part of the city’s oversight of all public transportation operations, including taxi, limousine and shuttle services currently operating in the city,” the city said in a news release. “Without such safeguards, the city encourages all residents to avoid using the services of Uber drivers.” It also said Uber drivers who charge fees tonight risk being ticketed for operating a business without a business license.
You can read the city’s full news release here. Click below for a full report from the Associated Press.
Boise issues cease and desist letter to Uber
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — City of Boise officials say Uber ignored its promise to not charge for driver services within city limits while negotiating an operating agreement for the ride-share company.
The city sent Uber a cease and desist letter Wednesday morning — the same day the ride-hailing app declared would be its busiest night ever for those seeking a car home.
Officials are also encouraging people to avoid using the company.
According to the city, Uber activated its "pay feature" on its app earlier this week so that drivers could charge passengers —essentially operating like a business even though it didn't have a proper license.
"It's unfortunate city officials are seeking to limit access to safe rides on a night when impaired-driving rates are at their highest," Uber spokesman Michael Amodeo said. "We look forward to continuing to connect Boiseans to the people and places they love as we work with City Officials to craft regulations that embrace choice and innovation."
The company did not mention if it would disrupt its driver services.
Uber's violation was first reported by KIVI on Tuesday. According to KIVI, one of their reporters was charged $5 for an Uber ride around the block inside the city limits.
"It is very important to us that their cars, their drivers are safe and operating and that there have been background checks for their drivers," city spokesperson Mike Journee told KIVI.
Boise was negotiating with Uber on safety guidelines, such as background checks for drivers. City officials wanted Uber to work under regulations that other Boise cab services do, meaning they would insure their vehicles, offer complaint options for passengers and undergo routine vehicle inspections.
Earlier in December, Portland, Oregon, officials sent a cease-and-desist order to Uber for not complying with city regulations.
Uber has been offering rides in Boise since October.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press