Talks Begin on Uber, Lyft Ordinance for Tulsa

Aug 8, 2014

A proposed ordinance would require companies like Uber and Lyft apply for certificates to operate in Tulsa.
Credit Uber

Tulsa city officials begin talks about regulating companies like Uber and Lyft, which are ride sharing operations.

Senior Assistant City Attorney Bob Edmiston said their business structure keeps transaction information out of the city’s hands.

"It's all a private contract handled exclusively on the digital platform. Everything is arranged, so then we are concerned about safety measures," Edmiston said. "If it's something the city is going to allow or suggest happen, then we want to know that all the safety measures are taken care of."

The proposed ordinance says companies must apply for a certificate. The requirements are mostly ones the companies already claim to meet, such as background checks on drivers.

City Councilor Blake Ewing said riders’ ability to rate drivers already regulates the companies in a way.

"The technology allows you to say, 'This driver does a great job — has bottled water in their very clean care and drove safely and was a wonderful conversationalist,'" Ewing said. "And, 'This driver played obnoxious music too loudly and hadn't showered in a week.' It will self-regulate because of the rating ability."

The ordinance should come up for a first reading next week.