Uber ride-for-hire service continues to draw scrutiny in Oklahoma City

Frustrated taxi and limo service operators want Oklahoma City police to ticket Uber drivers, but city officials are taking a cautious approach to dealing with the app-based ride-for-hire program.
by Randy Ellis Published: November 19, 2013

Frustrated taxi and limo service operators want Oklahoma City police to ticket Uber drivers, but city officials are taking a cautious approach to dealing with the smartphone app-based ride-for-hire program.

Oklahoma City police Sgt. Leroy Dancy told members of the Oklahoma City Traffic and Transportation Commission on Monday that city officials continue to scrutinize the company to determine if it is violating city ride-for-hire ordinances.

“We haven't come to a final conclusion yet,” he said.

Dancy told The Oklahoman he doesn't know how long it will take to complete the city's investigation.

“We just know when we know,” Dancy said.

Uber recruits local drivers willing to use their vehicles to provide ride-for-hire services to customers who summon and pay for rides through the smartphone app.

The issue is whether Uber and companies like it are required to meet the same licensing requirements as traditional ride-for-hire companies. In the Uber app's service agreement with customers, the company contends it is a technology company with an app and not a transportation service.

The company contends it only acts as an intermediary to link customers with transportation providers, even though Uber collects credit card information from customers that is kept on file and used to pay for rides. Uber retains a percentage of the fares.

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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