Oklahoma Senate committee passes 'Uber bill'

Ride-sharing services, such as Uber, would come under the exclusive regulatory authority of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission under a bill approved Thursday by the state Senate Committee on Business and Commerce.
by Randy Ellis Published: February 14, 2014
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Ride-sharing services, such as Uber, would come under the exclusive regulatory authority of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission under a bill approved Thursday by the state Senate Committee on Business and Commerce.

Nairi Hourdajian, spokeswoman for Uber, praised the vote Thursday.

“With Oklahomans clamoring for more options in more cities, we're so pleased to see that the Oklahoma state Senate is as excited about the future of ride-sharing in Oklahoma as we are,” she said.

However, Charles Cotton, owner of V.I.P. Limousine Co., was livid.

“The whole thing is insane,” Cotton said, adding that under the bill's provisions, ride-sharing services would not have to abide by the same strict requirements as taxi cab companies and limousine services. That would leave the public less protected, he said.

Matt Skinner, spokesman for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, said his agency did not request the bill but currently is reviewing it.

The bill, authored by state Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, would establish a separate set of regulations for services like Uber that allow customers to summon and pay for ride-for-hire services through smartphone apps. Non-commercially licensed drivers use their own vehicles to provide the rides.

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by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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