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"Uber Car Service" Causes Controversy in Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE, AR--One company moving into Fayetteville this weekend, good for some, but causing controversy with city officials. Now they're saying drivers could face fines.
FAYETTEVILLE, AR--One company moving into Fayetteville this weekend, good for some, but causing controversy with city officials. Now they're saying drivers could face fines.

"I live in this area and somebody needs a ride it's kind of like giving a friend a ride except you don't know the person," said Emma, Uber Car Driver.

Uber is a driver for hire service launching in Fayetteville. 

"I've been in a lot of positions where I'm with friends that have um, been out drinking and sometimes they don't consider a cab company because it's too expensive," said Emma.

But the company...getting some pushback from the city.

"They can say whatever they want to say but we have no way of knowing and ensuring the safety for our citizens if they're using some other li--unliscensed unpermitted taxi," said city attorney, Kit Williams.

My driver Emma, who lives in fayetteville, says it's the cheapest way to get around, and there is nothing illegal about it.

"There's cab companies here that have already been established but it's kind of like any other monopoly if the cab companies don't have any competetion then they'll just continue charging forty-dollar flat rates for really short trips," Emma said.

Fayetteville city attorney Kit Williams says there's more to it than money. The city council must approve a certificate of public convienence and necessity to operate...after making sure the service is safe.

"They have not done so. Uber's never requested to be allowed to do that and they haven't followed the other requirements of the ordinance," Williams said.

"We had to go through process where we not only showed our license, our license plates and then um the insurance and then they verified that in person as well so there is a background check involved as well. So they know that we have all of those things otherwise they wouldn't put us on the road," said Emma.

My 10 minute ride costs me about $6. But Williams says Uber drivers in the area could be the ones paying up.

"Those persons would likely be subject to citations and fines  for violating the taxi cab ordinance," said Williams.

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