Uber announces support for ‘unified framework’ for Alabama ride-sharing

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Uber announced Thursday it is supporting a bill moving through the Alabama Legislature that would create a statewide framework for ride-sharing.

“Every day in Alabama, thousands of people depend on Uber for affordable transportation options and flexible work opportunities,” said Uber Alabama General Manager Luke Marklin. “With a statewide framework, even more Alabamians will benefit from a convenient ride at the tap of a button — and current riders and drivers will count on an even more reliable experience.”

HB 283, sponsored by Rep. David Faulkner, would require ride-sharing company drivers to go through a thorough background check before they can start working and would legislate some consumer protection provisions, such as requiring estimated fares to be disclosed before a ride and requiring detailed receipts be sent electronically, two practices Uber already employs.

The bill would also allow Alabama municipalities to opt out of having ride-sharing companies operate within their jurisdiction.

“It’s time for Alabama to bring certainty to consumers with a statewide ride-sharing framework,” Faulkner said. “Access to new technologies and affordable rides should not be limited to those who live in the biggest cities, and this bill will give all of our residents the transportation options they deserve. The current patchwork of inconsistent regulations is unsustainable, which is why Alabama should not go another year without passing uniform ride-sharing laws.”

The bill also has the support of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, with the group’s Chief Government Affairs Officer J.T. Griffin telling Alabama Lawmakers in a letter that services such as Uber have “the ability to help provide new alternatives to take drunk drivers off the road and help protect our communities.”

HB 283 was filed by the Jefferson County Republican Feb. 21 and has been referred to the House Committee on Commerce and Small Business.

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