UberX, Lyft and other car sharing services face new operating, insurance regulations in Colorado

DENVER - Car sharing services are growing in popularity across Denver and the nation.

Drivers like it because they are their own boss, getting assignments on their iPhone. They own their own vehicles and set their own hours and are independent of large taxi organizations.

"Ride sharing isn't going anywhere. If anything, it's accelerating in terms of its growth -- and its acceptance," said Will McCollum, Uber's Denver general manager.

Growth brings new questions. Colorado lawmakers may be the first in the nation to establish guidelines covering everything from driver background checks to insurance.

Insurance is a big issue after a 6-year-old was struck and killed by a driver in San Francisco. According to ABC affiliate KGO-TV in San Francisco, a lawsuit claims Uber is responsible because the driver was using the app to find work. Uber says it's not liable because there wasn't a customer in the car.

"We're not against anybody's business plan," said Robert Passmore, an official with Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, who was at Wednesday's hearing in Denver.

Insurance agents are pushing for UberX and Lyft drivers to get the same insurance as taxis, adding that we all may pay more in premiums.

"The muddier it is, the less clear it is, the more likely you're going to get disputes," said Passmore.

Uber feels there's no gray area -- it provides insurance for its drivers when a customer steps in the car.

"Why introduce another barrier to entry, just to raise prices," said McCollum.

McCollum adds without rules set by the state, UberX won't be able to continue its operations.

Print this article Back to Top