Uber Now an Option for Transportation at Delaware Beaches - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Uber Now an Option for Transportation at Delaware Beaches


DEWEY BEACH, Del. (WBOC) - Summer is on at the Delaware beaches. And as the temps rise, locals and tourists alike are getting a new transportation option - Uber.

The ride-sharing smartphone app-based service uber has been operating in Delaware since late last year but doing so unregulated. All that came to end this week as the taxi and limo alternative signed an agreement with the state. The agreement took months to hash out.

Claire Allen was with her friends in Dewey Beach for a bachelorette party. She came down from Boston and would absolutely use Uber in Delaware.

"I think it's great," she said. "I think Uber is really convenient. Everybody has smartphones. So, you have the app. You can just order your cab, and it's there really quick."

There are some Uber drivers already at the beaches but not a ton. WBOC found a driver available near Lewes around 7 PM Thursday and a driver near Bethany just after 5 PM Friday. There was also a driver available in Dover around the same time.

Taxi and limo services in the First State have long expressed serious concerns about the way Uber operates and the potential impact on their business. Work is underway to bring the ride-sharing app and taxi regulations in line.

"The department and general assembly will be working on regulations to adjust taxi and limo services regulations, so they are equal to what Uber's regulations are," said Mike Williams, spokesman for the Delaware DMV.

Those new regulations for uber create licensing, insurance and background check requirements for drivers. They prohibit a driver from soliciting customers on the street or in a taxi zone. And Williams says they set up a framework for other ride-sharing apps in Delaware, though it's only Uber for now.

Even though the background check requirements are significant, some people are still wary.

"Personally, I believe that it's stupid. It's putting yourself at a risk that you don't need to take," said Amber Ford, who was visiting Dewey Beach from northern Delaware.

"To me it seems like there's a lot of room for error, for things to go wrong. It's not a foolproof system," said Julianna Jasinski, Ford's friend.

Here are more specifics of the regulations Uber now operates under in Delaware (source: DEDMV) -

- Insurance standards govern coverage responsibility for drivers and for the parent company across the entire duration of operations.

     - Minimum coverage levels exceed requirements for taxi services and are in line with departmental regulations pertaining to other public carriers.

- Uber must conduct a multi-state and federal background check on all prospective partner and drivers to certify that:

     - The individual has not ever been found guilty of a violent Class A or B felony, A crime against a child, a felony sexual offense or any felony homicide (including vehicular).

     - The individual has not in the past seven years been found guilty of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, any felony not included in the lifetime look back, a hit and run offense, driving over 100 mph or reckless driving.

     - The individual in the last three years has not been found guilty of more than three moving violations, driving with a suspended or revoked license, attempting to elude a police officer or speeding in excess of 20 mph above the posted speed limit.

- All drivers must undergo annual recertification to make sure they have not committed a disqualifying offense.

- Uber must annually verify that all partner drivers are in compliance with licensure and vehicle inspection requirements.

- Drivers partnering with Uber must, prior to accepting a rider, let them know their method of fair calculation and provide an estimate fare for a given destination. Within 24 hours of completing a ride, they must submit an electronic receipt to the writer.

- Drivers partnering with Uber may not pick up riders via a street hail work pick up and cannot stop within a designated taxicab zone for the purpose of soliciting a rider.

- Drivers partnering with Huber are required to obtain a valid Delaware business license, and Uber is required to notify them of this obligation.

- Uber must implement a zero tolerance policy with respect to suspicions of a driver using their platform operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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