AL lawmakers, Uber push for support of ride-sharing network bill - Montgomery Alabama news.

AL lawmakers, Uber push for support of ride-sharing network bill

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Alabama lawmakers and Uber representatives held a news conference Thursday in an attempt to gain support for House Bill 283.

As supporters of Uber gathered outside the statehouse with sign, lawmakers inside discussed the benefits of the bill.

Lawmakers say this bill, sponsored by Rep. David Faulkner, R-House District 46, would create a ride-sharing network across the state for services and apps like Uber and place it under the control of the Alabama Public Service Commission.

"They're going to regulate and enforce and make sure that our citizens are safe; that they're operating in accordance with the laws of this state," Faulkner said. 

According to a release from Uber, more than 40 states have passed ride-sharing laws. Alabama’s current regulations allow residents in certain cities the ability to get rides through the service but not in others.

"Riders can use this and go from any place they need to in the state without worrying about whether there's a contract entered into by this particular area or not. Let’s not wait to be 50,” Faulkner said. “If a city wants to opt out of this bill, they can.”

The bill could also open the door for more people to make more money by signing-up to become Uber drivers.

"It's allows me to work less but spend a lot of time with my family and that's what a critical part of doing this is," said Daniel Powell, an Uber driver from Birmingham.

Powell and lawmakers also believe the lack of a consistent law could also be costing Alabama money when visitors arrive.  

"With the patchwork that we have now, sometimes they won't have that reliable transportation and they're here either as a tourist or here bringing new business to our state. We need to be uniform with the rest of the states," Powell said.

Faulkner says ride-sharing shouldn’t just be for major cities, it should be for all of Alabama.

“This isn’t just about Uber,” Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Senate District 24, said. “It’s about letting Alabamians make a livable wage by doing something cool.”

Singleton and Faulkner say the bill has bipartisan support and has even gained the support of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Uber.

Faulkner expects the bill to be on the house floor for a vote next week.

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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