Local cab drivers uneasy about Uber and Lyft services

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by SHAWN CHITNIS & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on May 8, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Updated Thursday, May 8 at 7:04 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A new car service is launching in Spokane Thursday night and making current taxi drivers uneasy.

The new company is another way of paying for a ride using an app instead of calling a cab. A similar company, Lyft, started just a week earlier.

The new services Uber and Lyft let you find a driver near you, get a ride from them and pay with a credit card. You can track them as they get to your location on your phone. 

Local cab companies said they think Spokane already has enough taxis.

Bill’s Friendly Rides employee, Bill Boomer said 20 cabs run through the city already. He said he is not worried about the new competition.

“I don’t believe so but anybody that pays their licensing fees and registers with the city is welcome to try,” Boomer said.

They do not think the area will need services like Uber and Lyft but they are more concerned about the companies breaking the law.

Bommer said he pays $2,000 in fees for his seven cabs. He also pays $20,0000 for insurance. Uber and Lyft said they run background checks on drivers and companies have insurance.

Boomer does not think they are operating legally in Spokane. If they take the same steps he does, he said he would welcome the competition.

KREM 2 News checked with the City of Spokane to see if these companies are breaking the law. City staff said they are reviewing policies and looking at how other cities in Washington have taken on the issue.  

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