Rideshare companies roll on despite potential for fines

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Rideshare companies in the Valley have taken a major hit after Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill that would have loosely regulated the service.

Brewer said there would be serious gaps in insurance coverage.

But these businesses have no plans of stopping.

Drivers tell ABC15 rideshare is the future of the industry.

You pull up an app on your cell phone, request a lift and end up a passenger, along for the ride.

Michael K. has been a Lyft driver since last year and he says business is booming.

“Now, if you’re lucky you get 10 minutes between requests,” Michael says.

But is what he’s doing legal? One state department says no.

“We have such easy rules and yet they haven’t been, they haven’t accepted them,” says Shawn Marquez with the Arizona Department of Weights and Measures.

The bill the governor vetoed would have regulated rideshare businesses like Lyft, essentially forcing them to follow the same rules as taxis when it comes to drug testing and insurance.

“This is about public safety and that’s what it’s always been,” Marquez says.

The rideshare companies insist they are not taxis but a technology company.

Marquez says the bottom line is the same.

“They are still taking people from point A to point B,” he says.

Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft say they’re not going anywhere and their drivers seem just as resolute.

“We consider it a revolutionary concept and we stand behind it 100 percent,” Michael K. says.

These drivers can be cited and face fines for operating as a taxi.

Lyft says their drivers shouldn’t worry because the company will pay the fines and legal fees.

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