Photo: Uber

Uber General Manager: Uber to ‘Cease Operation’ if Proposed Vehicle for Hire Ordinance Passes

The showdown between the City of El Paso, Uber and the proposed Vehicle for Hire (VFH) ordinance continues.

Uber General Manager Leandre Johns to the El Paso City Council outlining his concerns with the proposed ridesharing ordinance. While offering to work with the city, Johns makes it quite clear that if the Council approves the VFH ordinance, they will ‘make the difficult decision to cease operations in El  Paso.

Below is Johns’ letter to the City Council:

Since we launched in El Paso in June of 2014, Uber has connected residents and visitors to hundreds of thousands of safe, reliable rides at the tap of a button. The Uber app offers more than just a convenient way to get a ride; it is changing how people connect with their cities by enabling access to more transportation options and flexible economic opportunities.  However, the proposed Vehicle for Hire (VFH) ordinance that the City Council will consider on May 3 jeopardizes the future of ridesharing in El Paso .

The proposed ordinance would require drivers to complete unnecessary and duplicative steps that make it difficult for them to earn extra money and hurt our ability to ensure that riders have access to reliable and affordable transportation. We know from experience in other markets that these rules can have a devastating impact on our ability to provide the experience that riders and drivers have come to love and expect. If these regulations are adopted, we will have to make the difficult decision to cease operations in El Paso.

Uber supports modern regulations that protect riders and drivers. In the last nine months, several Texas cities, such as San Marcos, College Station, Beaumont, Bryan, and Abilene, have adopted regulations that protect the public while also encouraging innovation. Considering the tens of thousands of ride requests we see each month, it is clear that the people of El Paso also want ridesharing in their city.

We are dedicated to serving both riders and drivers, and as such, we will continue to make ourselves available to work with the City to preserve these individuals’ access to the Uber platform. For these reasons, we respectfully ask City Council to delay moving forward with the proposed VFH ordinance and take the time to work with us to create a framework that makes sense for El Paso and allows for ridesharing to continue in this great city.  Most cities have rapidly embraced this innovative transportation model. It is our hope that the City of El Paso will follow their lead and adopt modern regulations that allow us to continue to operate. Thank you for your consideration.

City Council is expected to take up the Vehicle for Hire (VFH) Ordinance during their regular session on Tuesday, May 3rd.