With transportation community corporations akin to Uber and Lyft working as shut as Huntsville, the town of Decatur quickly may be a part of the remainder of the nation in regulating this business.
These corporations have drivers, who’re unbiased contractors moderately than staff, who use their private automobiles to present paid transportation for patrons in the identical means as taxis and limousines.
Passengers obtain an app to their smartphones, create an account, add their bank card info, then summon an Uber or Lyft automotive immediately to their location and journey with out paying money.
Uber and Lyft reached agreements with Huntsville final yr. The Huntsville International Airport Authority introduced an settlement with Lyft final week.
The airport has a delegated Lyft pickup space for passengers that would really like to use the service. This space will probably be alongside the lodge shuttles in entrance of luggage declare.
Uber drivers have already got been noticed in Decatur however, with out an settlement with the town, they will solely drop off passengers, stated metropolis Director of Development Wally Terry.
“They’re not supposed to pick up anyone,” Terry stated.
Terry stated an settlement between Decatur and Lyft could possibly be full by subsequent week. He continues to be making an attempt to set up talks with Uber, however he stated Uber apparently is working with the state of Alabama to probably set up an settlement via a state regulation.
“Uber is a big company, so it’s unclear how they plan to move forward in adding new cities in Alabama,” Terry stated.
Terry stated the town gained’t doubtless implement its laws that may maintain Uber or Lyft from choosing up passengers till an settlement with one of many corporations is accredited.
Airport spokeswoman Jana Kuner stated the airport has been negotiating with Uber because it started working final yr in Huntsville. It can’t decide up passengers on the airport both, however “anyone can drop off people,” she stated.
“We want Uber to operate at the airport so we can offer our passengers good land transportation options,” Kuner stated.
However, cities all through the nation report that Uber officers may be troublesome in negotiations. It took three makes an attempt for Huntsville to attain an settlement with Uber.
Kuner stated different airports are having the identical drawback as Huntsville International with Uber.
“Why, is a question to ask Uber,” Kuner stated. “I think it was a factor in our ability to reach such a quick agreement with Lyft.”
Terry stated the ordinance he plans to current to the City Council doubtless will comply with the Huntsville car-for-rent ordinance that was amended final yr to embrace journey-sharing corporations.
Huntsville’s laws require annual background checks for drivers, annual car inspections, annual certification and $1 million in legal responsibility insurance coverage.
Kuner stated she couldn’t speak concerning the airport authority’s settlement with Lyft, however an enormous a part of the pact “is the background checks that provide security for our passengers.”
Once accepted for a franchise settlement, experience-sharing drivers would offer competitors to the 2 taxi corporations that function in Decatur. The metropolis doesn’t have a limousine firm working right here.
An Uber spokesman couldn’t be reached for remark. Last yr, Uber spokesman Colin Tooze informed The Decatur Daily that his firm operates primarily in giant cities and solely reaches into a couple of smaller cities which might be suburbs of those giant cities.
Tooze stated the market would wish to present it will possibly provide sufficient passengers and drivers so rides can be found across the clock.