uber

This week Governor Maggie Hassan signed into law new statewide regulations for ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft.

The so-called Uber bill –now the Uber law– requires ride-sharing companies to conduct third-party background checks on drivers and to provide commercial insurance for the vehicles. These requirements largely mirror the existing practices of Uber, which strongly supported the legislation.

Screen grab from airbnb.com

While the debate about services like Airbnb is loudest in cities such as San Francisco and New York, it's also made inroads in less urban places like New Hampshire. We look at concerns over the lack of regulation, as well as the opportunities. Then, at the end of the hour, we'll discuss Uber, another major sharing economy company growing in the Granite State.
 

GUESTS:

In Manchester Tuesday, executives for the ride-sharing company Uber urged lawmakers to pass a measure that would create statewide regulations for the company's drivers.

The push comes in response to differences across New Hampshire cities in how drivers are regulated. Portsmouth requires Uber drivers to have insurance and undergo city-approved background checks. 

And in Manchester a proposal would require city licensing and random drug and alcohol screenings. 

Emily Corwin for NHPR

Residents in Portsmouth will choose a new mayor and nine city councilors on Tuesday. Voters will likely notice some new names on their ballots. What they might not know – is who has been guiding those candidates, behind the scenes.

Paul Goddin via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/rZZE1N

An Uber official has sent a letter to Portsmouth's City Council asking it to make changes to a new transportation services ordinance.

The ordinance calls for ride-sharing companies like Uber or taxi drivers that operate in Portsmouth to have commercial personal injury and property damage liability insurance coverage and prove to the police department that each driver has had a background check.

Paul Goddin via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/rZZE1N

The city of Portsmouth has legalized the ride-sharing service Uber.

The Portsmouth Herald reports that the ordinance was passed along with an amendment to delay its implementation by 45 days.

 

New Hampshire lawmakers are considering how to regulate ridesharing services such as Uber.

Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed a bill to create a 5-member committee to study how Uber and taxi services are regulated statewide and nationally and to compare the safety of the services, among other things. The committee must report its finding by the beginning of November.

 

City officials in Portsmouth are calling for ride-hailing services like Uber to prove they're commercially insured.

The Portsmouth Herald reports that Assistant Mayor Jim Splaine released an amended ordinance this week that would mandate ride-hailing services to have a total of $300,000 personal injury coverage for each accident and have at least $50,000 in property damage insurance.

Last week the Manchester Mayor of Board and Aldermen voted to require that drivers for the ride-booking service Uber comply with the city’s taxi ordinances or stop operating.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas says the city's police chief will meet this week with Uber representatives to review the company's policies on vetting drivers. That could mean the city and the ride-booking company could find a compromise over Uber's presence in Manchester.

Officials with the ride-sharing service Uber say they’ll pull out of Portsmouth if a proposed ordinance requiring background checks for its drivers goes through.

Seacoast Online reports the city council voted Monday night to delay action on the ordinance, following a public hearing.

It would require Uber’s drivers to undergo criminal background checks overseen by local police and have proof of insurance, similar to the city’s taxi drivers.

An aldermanic committee in Manchester has signed off on a ride-sharing ordinance that would cover companies like Uber.

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports the administration committee voted 3-2 last night in favor of the policy.

Under the proposal, Uber’s third-party drivers would have to register with the clerk’s office and undergo state criminal background checks and drug testing.

The ordinance still needs the support of the full board and will go through several stages of review.

The 'Sharing Economy': Uber & Airbnb Come To N.H.

Feb 2, 2015
Dr sanjeevkumar SinghEr / Flickr/CC

With the rise of services like Uber and Airbnb, more folks who would normally use city-regulated taxis or hotels are now using apps to connect with strangers for a ride or a place to stay. But while this new ‘sharing’ configuration may be cheaper and more efficient, some worry about safety, fairness, and the future of work.

GUESTS:

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The ride-sharing service Uber has been at the center of debate and controversy in several New Hampshire cities the past several months.

The company is operating in Portsmouth, Manchester and has recently started up in Nashua. Local officials in all of those cities continue to discuss how Uber’s drivers should be regulated.

In the middle of all this are the drivers themselves.

Antonio Correia works as an Uber driver in Manchester.

He joins Morning Edition to talk about this issue.

For those unfamiliar with Uber, how does it work?

    

The ride-sharing service Uber is causing a stir in Portsmouth.

The company hires third-party drivers and allows customers to request rides using a smartphone app. It’s been operating in the city for at least the past month.

The company also has drivers in Manchester, where city officials have been debating whether the service should be subject to the same regulations as taxis.

That same debate unfolded this week during a meeting of the Portsmouth taxi commission.

Peter Bresciano is the chairman of the commission. He joined Morning Edition.

The City of Portsmouth says that drivers for ride-booking companies such as Uber meet the city's definition of taxi drivers and are subject to the same regulations.

The Portsmouth Herald reports that at a city meeting Wednesday night, cab drivers applauded the city's position. The city did not rule on whether to shut down an Uber driver currently operating in the city, as the cabbies had asked.