Ridesharing company Uber has suspended operations in Boise.
The company in a three-page letter to city leaders on Thursday says it became clear at a city council work session on Tuesday that the city plans to impose unworkable and onerous regulations. Uber spokesperson Michael Amodeo says the company does vehicle inspections and background checks on drivers.
“We think additional background checks would just place an additional hurdle or barrier to entry for our drivers that would make it more difficult for them to earn a living with the Uber platform," says Amodeo.
Boise leaders want Uber to follow rules already in place for cab services, including insurance regulations and vehicle inspections.
“It sounds like Uber didn’t like the idea that we were trying to insure that the people driving their cars didn’t have felonies for things like domestic abuse, substance abuse," says city spokesperson Mike Journee. "We wanted to make sure the drivers and the passengers in the car would be insured in the event that something happens. You know it’s those kinds of things that we were looking for and we don’t think they’re onerous at all.”
The company had been offering free rides in the city but Uber says that financial burden has become unsustainable.
In a related matter on Thursday, state lawmakers introduced an Uber-backed bill to let the company operate the way it wants.
Rep. Joe Palmer from Meridian, chair the House Transportation and Defense Committee, says he supports the bill because the city is preventing Uber from doing business.