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Idaho Lawmakers Consider Bill To Write Uber-Style Services Into Law


View from the backseat of an Uber ride. Idaho lawmakers will consider a bill to write Uber-style services into state law.

View from the backseat of an Uber ride. Idaho lawmakers will consider a bill to write Uber-style services into state law.

Alexander Torrenegra, Wikimedia

A panel in the Idaho House agreed to introduce legislation Thursday that would define ride-sharing services like Uber in state law — and trump local efforts to regulate them.

Uber lobbyist Ken McClure brought the bill before lawmakers.

“This is something which is new technology which is not currently addressed at all in Idaho code,” he said. “Some places we’ve had some difficulties, frankly. Uber’s had some difficulties.”

That includes places like Boise. The move in the legislature came the same day Uber announced it’s suspending operations in Boise due to what it calls “unworkable and onerous regulations.”

Boise is considering a proposal that would ask Uber and any other rideshare services to meet licensing, insurance and inspection requirements like taxis or shuttles.

The statewide bill would regulate rideshare drivers separately and let them operate without commercial licenses. It would also require those drivers to get background checks.

Uber lets users schedule rides through a smartphone app with drivers who use their own cars. Spokane and Seattle have passed local laws to allow these ridesharing services. Uber service has been suspended in Portland while the city develops rules.

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