Vernon officials are using Uber to bring people to vaccine clinics. It’s a first in the nation.
The Senate voted 28-8 Tuesday night to approve a bill that would make Connecticut one of the last states to impose standards on ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft. The bill now goes to the governor.
Connecticut acted belatedly Thursday to impose standards on Uber and Lyft, the market-disrupting, ride-sharing companies that arrived here three years ago, ignoring a regulatory structure devised for taxicabs — not an app-driven matchmaking service for drivers willing to pick up passengers in their personal cars.
In the almost two years since Uber rolled into Connecticut, the state’s car/taxi service business has been rocked to its core. But is Uber competing on the same level as taxis and car service companies? Of course not, which is why it’s so successful. I spoke with Uber’s Connecticut Manager Matt Powers and Drivers Unlimited (a Darien car and limo company) owner Randy Klein to try to get an objective comparison of the services. (Full disclosure: I have been a customer of both firms.)
Beneath the struggle to pass a budget Tuesday, a fight that cast a shadow over everything and everyone in the State Capitol, were the myriad small dramas endemic to every session finale, when sleep-deprived lobbyists and legislators crash against the hard adjournment deadline of midnight Wednesday.
A year after Uber entered the Connecticut market, ignoring rules and regulations imposed on the taxi industry, the House voted Saturday night for a bill that would establish safety and insurance standards on the ride-sharing business.
After a day of public-hearing testimony about free markets, innovation and regulation, the only consensus at the General Assembly about Uber was that the market-disrupting ride service is in Connecticut to stay. Exactly how or when to set rules for a business that’s upended the highly regulated taxicab industry was unclear Monday evening.
A lobbying war between Connecticut’s taxi industry and Uber Technologies, whose ride-sharing service is the epitome of a “disruptive technology” and the evolving “sharing economy,” is about to emerge from the shadows in Hartford.