The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday December 10th

Airport cites ride-share service Uber

Uber drivers have been issued about 100 citations in the past three months, said Mindy Hamlin, a spokeswoman for the airport.

Hamlin said Uber drivers are not complying with state or local laws or with RDU regulations.

“There are rules and regulations in place to protect passengers, including liability insurance as well as background checks that drivers have to be in compliance with in order to receive tags from state and local government,” she said.

The airport issues drivers without commercial tags — like Uber drivers — a trespass warning, which can cost drivers about $50, Hamlin said.

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft often provide a cheaper option than cabs for students to reach their destination.

Uber drivers operate through their company’s mobile application, making it a one-stop shop for customers.

The customers download the application, pick their driver, pay through the app and wait for their driver to arrive.

“(Students) like it because it’s cheaper,” said Tara O’Connor, co-president of the UNC Out-of-State Student Association.

She said in her experience a cab ride to RDU from UNC’s campus costs between $35 and $40. An Uber price estimate for a ride from UNC Student Stores to RDU starts at $26.

Taylor Bennett, a spokesman for Uber, said the citations were unwarranted.

“Unfairly ticketing drivers is simply an effort to limit consumer choice and opportunity and does nothing but hurt the people who rely on Uber to make a living and travel safely around town,” he said.

Mary Tuggle, a sophomore from Tennessee, said she used Uber multiple times over the summer while staying in New York, and it was significantly cheaper than taking a cab.

“They’re super reliable; they know what they’re doing,” she said. “They’re super professional about the whole experience.”

Bennett said in an email that Uber drivers must go through background checks, including checks on their courthouse records and motor vehicle records.

Uber drivers are also required to have no prior DUIs, hit and runs, fatal accidents, violent crimes or gun-related violations.

Uber also provides up to $1.5 million of liability insurance, starting when the driver accepts a customer request and ending at the completion of the ride, Bennett said.

Hamlin said it is important for the airport to enforce the regulations at this time, but they will continue to work with Uber drivers in an effort for them to become compliant and gain the ability to operate at RDU.

state@dailytarheel.com



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