Public reacts to first reading of Uber ordinance passing

Public reacts to first reading of Uber ordinance passing
Uber coming back to Midland? (Source: KWES)

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - A large group of Midland residents made their voices heard as the Midland City Council discusses an ordinance involving Uber. During the meeting on Tuesday morning, the city council approved the first reading of the new ordinance.

A previous ordinance for transportation networking companies went into affect February 2015, but Uber was not happy with the provisions and decide to discontinue their service.

"We never made Uber leave. They decided to leave on their own accordance and it will be their decision if they want to come back as well," said Sara Bustilloz, Midland public information officer.

Uber sent a letter to the city of Midland saying they would return if the new TNC ordinance passed. City council held the first of two readings for the ordinance Tuesday. The council voted in favor of the ordinance 5-1, with one member abstaining.

"I thought the decision today was a victory for the city of Midland, who want safe effective transportation," said Cory McDowell, an Uber supporter.

The new ordinance will do away with licensing requirements for TNC drivers. TNC's would perform their own background checks on drivers, instead of the Midland Police Department. The city of Midland could verify compliance with the ordinance through an audit.

Many people came up to speak in front of the council expressing their opinions on the ride sharing app.

Taxi drivers were the main people opposed, but say they just want a level playing field.

"I'll welcome Uber in as long as they are going by the same standards we are. As long as one is not having an advantage over another one," said Christo Chaney, a taxi driver.

"If they are going to try to do this, they need to play it fair," said Daniel King, another taxi driver.

The city council says they will be amending the already in place taxi ordinance to be business friendly.

Another reading for the ordinance will be held on May 24, 2016. If it passes with a majority vote, Uber will return to Midland in June.

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