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More transportation options like Uber and Lyft are needed in Arizona

Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City

Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City

Innovation has the potential to make our lives and communities better. But the rapid pace of change, however beneficial, also brings new and unforeseen challenges, among them how to ensure that ease and convenience do not come at the expense of safety. This tension is not merely theoretical; it has taken shape in Arizona and in over 270 cities around the globe, where ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have grown in popularity.

The idea behind ridesharing is simple: everyday people leveraging the power of technology and their own personal vehicles to deliver rides to friends and fellow members of their community at the tap of the button. Riders benefit from the availability of safe, reliable rides; drivers benefit from increased opportunity and the ability to earn income on their own terms.

These companies also go to great lengths to ensure the safety of riders, drivers and the public. Every person who partners with a ridesharing service like Uber and Lyft must complete an extensive criminal background check. In fact, in the case of Uber, these checks are so rigorous that the consulting firm of former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani concluded that Uber’s background check process “represents a substantial improvement over existing safety standards in the personal hire transportation world”.

But safety is also about peace of mind, which is why every trip with ridesharing platforms like Uber is covered by end-to-end ridesharing insurance with coverage up to $1 million per incident for liability, uninsured and underinsured motorist from pickup to drop off for every ridesharing trip. This goes above and beyond what most jurisdictions require and what most taxis currently provide, and it takes into account that ridesharing is a different service that involves individuals using their personal vehicles to drive as much or as little as they choose.

Ridesharing is both reliable and safe, evidenced not only by the steps and checks outlined here, but also by the thousands of Arizonans who choose Uber and Lyft to get around town safely, reliably and affordably every day. We owe it to Arizonans to craft regulations that recognize the innovative nature of ridesharing and enshrine the various safety measures Uber and Lyft are taking to ensure consumer safety into law.

A clear-eyed look at the facts also reveals that more transportation options like Uber and Lyft are needed in places like Arizona, where drunk-driving rates exceed the rest of the nation and where residents must travel long distances to get from place to place. Governor Ducey and Weights and Measures Director Andy Tobin made the right call in embracing ridesharing as a safe and viable transportation option in Arizona, and leaders from across the state would be wise to follow their lead with regulations that prioritize consumer safety and consumer choice.

People in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff and other cities are already requesting rides with ridesharing services and enjoying the benefits. Uber and Lyft are doing their part to ensure that these rides are not only reliable, but meeting the highest standard for safety as well. Arizonans deserve nothing less, and that is exactly what we should aim to deliver.

– Republican Sen. Kelli Ward is the chairwoman of the state Senate Education Committee and has been a vocal proponent of ridesharing services.

5 comments

  1. Crooks need more unlawful and criminal “sharing” models such as Uber.
    Rules to be a criminal enterprise by MULTIPLE courts, it truly
    takes a CRIMINAL to support these Uber criminal thugs.

  2. Uber/lyft ride share type drivers need proper background checks. But do a search on Google “Uber background check” this is anything but safe. State fingerprint cards are the answer for all drivers for hire.

    It has been legal and able to do “rideshare” provided you follow state law. Insane Ducey and Tobin is wrong NOT to enforce the law. I’m full blooded Republican not his kind

  3. Irresponsible legislators and uninformed journalists perpetuate a myth that Uber is engaged in “ride-sharing”, create jobs and are a safe alternative to taxis. In fact these companies are engaged in transportation for-hire, by their own admission are illegal ( http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/2013/07/24/t-bst-uber-lyft.fortune/), 29 states deem their insurance inadequate, there are some 40 lawsuits by customers, drivers, regulators, competitors and there are 7 reported sexual assaults on women in the last 3 months! Half of these drivers quit or are fired and many complain about meager wages and unacceptable working conditions! There is NOT legal, moral or logical justification to allow these companies to ignore laws or to have an unfair advantage!!!

  4. Ooooooooo yes
    Absolutely we need more and more transportation like travis and liftcsrtels; but tell me After travis cartel new fare prices
    We the drivers can not quit
    We cant give up
    We can not be too shabby or selfish
    We started this crab; now we got continuing supporting travis and the pseudo riders scum, now
    Whats going to happen with them?accostumed to pay nanopeanuts for taxi we can not let them down
    This poor disgusted pseudo riders are not willing to ride anymore on the stinky taxis
    Also with this new rates homeless and walfare recipients would be able to have a decent transportation
    Travis will be very proud of us for help him to depreciate the taxi industry now “new rates” by a 80% and make believe all this cheap, frugal, arrogant, indecent, cinics, unethical, disgusted, shameless, classless pseudo riders that we are a bounch of mental retarders doing this just for fun or the pleasure to meet such scum
    Keep doing like that ill like to see how you end up in the next comming days dealing with the stress and the pressure of know that some scum people is rating you despite the nanopeanuts they are paying us comparing with the disgusted stinky cabs
    So please take away that stupid idea of quit from your head
    Travis at this point is very pleased
    And dont forget; he loves us

  5. I would like to know what sort of contributions Kelli Ward has received from Uber and/or Lyft. What Arizona needs is a requirement for licensing in order to transport people for hire. As it currently stands, a violent felon can get out of prison and be driving a livery or taxi the next day (I’m not sure how fast the start up time is for ride shares, but I suspect that it is similar).
    At a minimum drivers should be REQUIRED to:
    Have a clean criminal background (such as required in other states such as Nevada).
    Pass a drug test.
    Prove they have commercial vehicle insurance.
    Have set rates per mile/per minute that the customer is aware of before they begin their ride.
    Surge pricing is deceptive and unethical, it hits people after they’ve been drinking and frequently aren’t aware of how much more they are being charged, it needs to be banned.

    Clean up the existing businesses before trying to bring more in. Show some common sense and ethics for a change Senator Ward! We don’t need sex offenders, violent criminals, felons, transporting drunk college kids, or knowing who’s going out of town (taking a ride to the airport).

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