Uber Halts Operations In Kansas After Legislature Votes To Mandate Background Checks, Insurance Coverage

Uber pulled its operation from Kansas on Tuesday.

It seems like every few months a new city or state announces it will no longer allow Uber to operate in its jurisdiction. But in a slight change of pace, the ride-sharing company is actually taking itself out of the equation in Kansas.

Uber announced Tuesday that it will immediately end operations in Kansas after the state’s legislature voted for stricter regulations over the ride-sharing company, The Wichita Eagle reports.

The company’s decision to pull its operations came after the Kansas Senate voted to override a veto by Gov. Sam Brownback and essentially mandated that Uber require drivers to have comprehensive and collision insurance on their cars.

The measure also requires Uber drivers to undergo a Kansas Bureau of Investigation background check.

A spokesperson for Uber confirmed the end of operations in the state and said the company was “saddened by the loss of hundreds of jobs, safe rides and transportation choice for consumers in Kansas.”

Uber’s decision came just before the Kansas House voted to also override the veto.

State representatives tell the Wichita Eagle that the vote wasn’t about singling out Uber, but about the future of transportation and consumer safety in the state.

“For us it’s the next player that comes in to do a transportation network and doesn’t do a background check and then all of a sudden we’ve got a couple of 21-year-old girls that were hoping to get a safe ride home and that just went missing,” Rep. Scott Schwab says. “There’s no protections. And we’re not asking for much. I mean in Colorado next to us they go through their bureau of investigation and Uber didn’t leave there.”

Since beginning a rather aggressive expansion of service across the U.S. and in other countries, Uber has run into similar issues with other states and cities.

Back in December, the company agreed to suspend service for three months in Portland as part of a deal to work on new regulations with city officials. A month later, the company was ordered to cease operations in South Carolina until it obtained proper state certificates.

The company has also faced its share of lawsuits from cities – including Los Angeles and San Francisco – and the taxi industry in several areas throughout the U.S.

Uber to pull out of Kansas after Legislature overrides Brownback’s veto [The Wichita Eagle]

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