Gov. Markell, Del. Leaders Meet with Uber, Discuss Regulations - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Gov. Markell, Del. Leaders Meet with Uber, Discuss Regulations

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Uber potential, major obstacles in Delaware. State officials, including Gov. Jack Markell, met with representatives of the ride-sharing service Uber Thursday.

Uber is already in big cities, and it could be in Delaware. It connects drivers to riders all thru the touch of a smartphone app.

You can use to request a ride and get picked up. It is an alternative to traditional cab services.

There's a lot to address when it comes to Uber operating in the First State. The state wants to make sure if Uber is operating that it is doing so in a regulated fashion. And that was a large part of Thursday's discussion between the company and Delaware officials.

State regulations require a lot from licensed taxis and drivers - lifetime background checks, defensive driving training, adequate insurance, licenses and vehicle inspections

Mike Williams, a spokesperson for the state Division of Motor Vehicles, says Uber has driver restrictions. But they aren't like Delaware's.

"Their qualifications to be a driver are not as stringent as what Delaware's are," he said.

That's a concern for taxi companies. They say if Uber is going to be in Delaware, it has to be on a level playing field.

"I'm all for what Uber is doing," said Tom Antonio, owner of City Cab of Delaware. "I just think that they need to do it in conjunction with people who are licensed through the state to provide the service."

"If they have to follow the same regulations we do, then it's just new competition," said Jason Wells, owner of Shamrock Taxi & Shuttle.

Wells says the taxi industry needs to be part of the conversation as the state makes decisions on Uber.

"This meeting today was closed. We couldn't have any say or input," he said.

"We just want to make sure that the stake holders that have been here for years have a say in what's going on," Antonio said.

Williams says the state will continue to work with Uber to codify any regulation changes. He says regulations are about ensuring customer safety. When it comes to Uber that means a few things.

"They're running safe vehicles, running safe drivers and any customer that chooses to do this can feel good about doing it," Williams said.

There have been media reports that uber is already operating Under the radar in Delaware. DMV officials say currently any Uber driver making a pick-up in Delaware is doing so unregulated.

Uber sent WBOC a statement on Thursday's meeting. It said, in part, "Our meeting with Gov. Markell was positive and productive, and it's clear the state of Delaware embraces innovation."

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