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Poll: Is New Jersey ‘Uber-Regulating’ Startup Car Service?

Should Uber be treated like any taxi or limo business, or will that drive it out of state?

Uber, the startup cab service using freelance drivers with their own cars, has moved into New Jersey. With it comes controversy -- should Uber drivers be allowed to compete with regulated taxis?

The Assembly Transportation Committee recently approved legislation calling for Uber drivers to obtain a higher level of insurance and a form of licensing that includes criminal background checks and clear identification -- similar to that of limousine drivers.

Uber is fighting the bill, saying it will stifle its expansion in New Jersey and deprive riders of this transportation option. Few Republicans supported the bill and it’s unclear where Gov. Chris Christie stands on the issue.

What do you think?

  • When will New Jersey learn? This is a free-market issue. Uber is growing across the country because people want a cheaper and more flexible alternative than calling for a limousine. Let’s not stop it in its track with over-regulation.

  • If we don’t start investing in public transportation, we’re going to need some options! Uber provides a great alternative to often unreliable and inconvenient NJ Transit buses and rail. I say we regulate them as lightly as possible.

  • This is a case where the devil is in the details. Of course drivers should have criminal background checks and have to carry some kind of commercial insurance to protect passengers. But the thresholds shouldn’t be high; the process of gaining a license should be easy; and there should be no waiting. We need services like Uber, particularly in New Jersey where it is often hard to find taxis, no less public transportation.

  • Why should Uber drivers not be subjected to the same rules as taxi and limousine drivers. That’s what they are, isn’t it? And presumably, we have these regulations for a reason -- to protect the public. Shame on any legislator who doesn’t see this and vote accordingly.

  • I don’t understand why Uber is fighting this: Similar rules have been put in place by New York, California, and other big markets. By making sure the public is protected with insurance, identification, and background checks, Uber will just make its customers feel more secure. The fact that they are focused on getting as many drivers as possible and not on protecting the customers make me suspicious of the service.

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