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Ride sharing bill moving through Michigan Legislature

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

A bill that would legalize ride sharing companies is making its way through the legislature.

Ride sharing companies, like Uber andLyft, use an app to connect drivers with people looking for a ride and willing to pay. The bill would set up regulations for ride sharing companies that would be different from those taxi and limousine operators currently follow. 

“It could really muck up the system,” Matthew Oddy with Checker Cab told a state House committee on Tuesday. “It makes it very confusing having two sets of legislation regulating the same industry.”

Taxi and limousine operators say the proposed regulations would create an unfair playing field.  

But Uber’s Michael White says the old rules governing taxis don’t fit ride sharing companies.

“It requires a new regulatory structure to appropriately allow for this technological advancement…without impeding it,” says White. 

Ride sharing companies are already operating in more than a half dozen Michigan communities, including Ann Arbor, Detroitand Lansing.

But their legal status is shaky.  

And if state lawmakers are going to get this bill passed before the end of the current lame duck session, they will have to push the gas pedal harder.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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