Uber, a ride-sharing business that has been in the Twin Cities since October 2012, is protesting a proposed bill that would require its drivers to have additional insurance coverage. To be exact, the bill would require online ride-hailing companies to cover their business’ vehicles with $1 million insurance policies. Current Uber policies do not cover accidents in which the other driver is uninsured, but its drivers are constantly at a high risk for traffic accidents — they’re driving in unknown areas while looking at their phones for directions. However, Mike White, the general manager of Uber, believes the bill would be both unfair and unreasonable, saying it may cost the state jobs. There is now an online petition against it, and many Uber drivers rallied outside the Capitol last Thursday. Officials on both sides are nearing a compromise, but it’s likely this back-and-forth will continue. Despite Uber’s protests, the bill, which is now out of contention in favor of a different measure, wasn’t unprecedented or out of reach. The required insurance policy mentioned in the Minnesota Legislature is almost identical to the policies that limousine and taxi companies pay. Furthermore, Utah passed a similar bill last week, and Uber announced that the policy was acceptable. Continue Reading
After graduating with honors from Grambling State University this past Spring, Brittany Bentley returned to Minnesota to participate in the Teach for America program. Out of ten choices, Minneapolis was her fifth. We moved to Minneapolis when my daughter was eighteen months old, but she has always believed she’d feel more welcome in other parts of the world. My daughter has grown to accept her placement here after meeting some of the 5th graders she will be teaching in the fall. Her experience this past weekend brings some realities back to the forefront. The race relations issue in this state exists at every level of the spectrum. Here is an account of what she experienced this past weekend while trying to hail a cab in downtown Minneapolis. “Two Caucasian reporters from the Star tribune come up to me and ask how long I’ve been waiting for a cab. I tell them that I’ve been waiting for over an hour. Continue Reading
In October, Uber, an app-based car service that has been all the rage in cities across the country and internationally, hit the Twin Cities, much to the delight of local customers who love the convenience of the app as well as the slick ride that the Uber limos provide. Uber has run into controversy in other U.S. cities, receiving pressure from established taxi and limo industries and receiving cease-and-desist orders in a number of cities. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is currently investigating a complaint filed against the service.