MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The City of Midland has unanimously passed a first draft of a new ordinance for the city to implement transportation companies like Lyft and Uber. These companies are getting lots of attention but there's many questions being raised as well. Midland residents are worried about their safety and taxi cab drivers are worried about their jobs.
When 2016 comes around, your transportation options in Midland might be very different. Later this month, city council will have their second reading.
If passed, companies like Lyft and Uber will be available as early as January.
Uber and the city council are taking their time and working out ways to keep the residents of Midland safe.
City of Midland Public Information Officer, Sara Bustilloz says, "Uber operates so differently because of the technology that they have. You know when you ask for an Uber ride, it shows the license plate number, it shows the model and make of the car, it shows a photo of the driver, so you know exactly who is coming to pick you up. So we think that some things are built in to these kinds of companies that do make it safer."
Not only are they implementing the Uber policy but applying a policy of their own.
Uber drivers will be required to pass a background check, be licensed through Midland Police Department and a list of all Uber drivers will be kept by city council. New technology will also be used to keep Uber riders safe.
Taxi drivers have voiced their concerns about Uber and they are being heard. Midland International Air and Space Port is currently restricted to Uber.
The Midland City Council is making an effort to ensure all transportation companies have an equal opportunity.
"The ordinance was being created in a few ways. We worked not only with Uber but also worked with the current taxi drivers who have reached out to us and expressed certain concerns that they have about the liability of their company and making sure they are on an even playing field," said Bustilloz.