Odessa City Council approves Uber ordinance

Odessa City Council approves Uber ordinance

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Odessa City Council passed and Uber ordinance regulating the transportation company on Tuesday, but before it was passed they wanted to make sure safety wouldn't be an issue.

Background checks and who would be doing them was the last sticking point for Uber and the City of Odessa. Uber conducts their own background checks on their drivers using federal and national databases. Earlier this year, a Midland Uber driver was arrested after he took $600 from a woman after she left her card in his car.

Mayor David Turner said, "There's always going to be bad eggs in anything but we feel very confident. The same company Uber uses for background checks also does background checks for another internet based company."

Turner added with Uber in Odessa the good outweighs the bad.

"There are a lot of good things about Uber, it reduces DWI's which is fantastic because people can go out to the bars, call Uber and they'll take them home," said Turner.

Rene Branscum a part-time Uber driver believed background checks shouldn't be an issue.

"To me if you don't have anything in your background I don't see what the problem is," said Branscum.

Branscum works for Uber 20 hours a week and has driven people throughout the city, not only is Uber another source of income for her but she believes Uber is essential  in Odessa.

"I have riders from the age of 21-60 and every rider tells me how much they are glad they have a way to not drink and drive. I think for our community it's a great choice," said Branscum.

Mayor Turner says the ordinance will go to a second meeting but for the time being Uber is in Odessa to stay.

Copyright 2016 KWES. All rights reserved.