Uber in Birmingham? Here’s looking at Johnathan Austin

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Birmingham City Council President Johnathan Austin has said he’s on board with Uber but as well all know with our elected officials actions speak louder than words. So here’s looking at the council to actually take up the issue not just talk about it.

Earlier this year a Facebook was created and GoFundMe site started as of today they have 111 followers and have raised $10,785. The name was changed from the original to Magic City Movement where there’s frequent communication about what’s going on.  Today, they posted this post from Uber.

There’s been a lot of chatter from the local community about bringing ridesharing to Birmingham—one of the biggest cities in U.S. still without this option. As this map below shows, people aren’t just talking about Uber, they are clamoring to use it—whether on campus, North Birmingham, Southside, or anywhere in between.

birmingham__zips

Since last summer, tens of thousands of people have opened up the Uber app in all corners of Birmingham, checking to see if a safe ride was available. This means that millions of dollars could have gone in the pockets of hundreds of local drivers using Uber to make some supplemental income by providing rides in their communities.

Here at Uber, we’re just as eager to provide safe, reliable rides and flexible work opportunities to Magic City residents and visitors as they are to have them, however, the existing regulations make it impossible for Uber to operate in Birmingham. With 75% percent of the U.S. population already having access to ridesharing, Birmingham is getting left behind.

At the August 26 Committee of the Whole meeting, we learned that a ridesharing ordinance would be drafted within 30 days, and then voted back on in the Committee of the Whole. While it’s disappointing that more than 8 weeks later, no draft ridesharing ordinance has been made available, we’re encouraged to learn that Council President Austin is revisiting this issue next week in the Committee of the Whole and plans to have a draft ridesharing ordinance voted on by the full Council within 30 days.

Over 20 states and dozens of jurisdictions have passed sensible regulatory frameworks for ridesharing, welcoming it into their communities, all in one short year. We hope that Birmingham—under Council President Austin’s leadership—can take the same innovative approach, and look forward to bringing safe rides and economic opportunity to Birmingham in the near future.

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