Boise City Council Will Consider Temporary Operating Agreement for Uber

by

ADAM ROSENLUND
  • Adam Rosenlund

The Boise City Council and rideshare company Uber have not gotten along lately, but during its Tuesday, Feb. 10 work session, the Council will consider an interim operating agreement that would allow Uber to operate within city limits—at least for a while.

The kerfuffle began New Year's Eve, when the city slapped Uber with a cease-and-desist order after it "ignored its own good-faith commitment to not charge for driver services" while it was still negotiating an operating agreement. That didn't stop Uber from picking up riders that evening. 

"It's unfortunate city officials are seeking to limit access to safe rides on a night when impaired driving rates are at their highest," an Uber spokesman told Boise Weekly at the time. "We look forward to continuing to connect Boiseans to the people and places they love as we work with city officials to craft regulations that embrace choice and innovation."

By Jan. 7, police were issuing citations to Uber drivers, and by Jan. 10, Uber reinstated its previous policy of giving rides for free until an agreement could be reached with the city. According to a press release issued by city officials, that agreement would mean background checks must be performed on Uber drivers, their vehicles must be inspected twice a year, drivers must be insured, and the company must "establish clear channels for customer complaints and that the company forward those complaints to the city."

The stipulations are identical to those outlined for Uber by the city prior to the breakdown of negotiations. The move comes after the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce announced its support of Uber.

Public testimony will be accepted at  the Feb. 10 Council meeting. Those unable to attend are welcome to make comments via email to city clerk@cityofboise.org.