An executive with the alternative transportation company known as Uber was at the capitol today, lobbying for a bill the company says would help them expand to more Iowa communities.
Uber offers rides like a taxi, except the drivers use their own cars and drum up business through a smartphone app.
“This bill provides a uniform standard,” says Uber General Manager Pooneet Kant. “With Des Moines, there’s also West Des Moines a driver could be going through. We think having a uniform standard makes more sense.”
The city of Des Moines has already passed an ordinance that goes further than the bill. For example there are different insurance requirements and other things the company opposes.
“The Des Moines ordinance requires decals for drivers, a chauffeur's license, and quarterly vehicle inspections which we view as overly onerous,” Kant says.
Critics of the bill say the Des Moines ordinance should be exempt from any legislation. Cedar Rapids is also working on its own ordinance.
Airports and taxi companies object to the bill.