MADISON, Wis. - Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said ride-sharing companies operating in the city refuse to meet standards, and to date, refuse to respect Madison ordinances.
Lyft and Uber, which launched in Madison in recent months, allow customers to order a ride from drivers using a downloadable phone application. The drivers are then paid a fee based on how far the trip was.
Soglin is adding his voice to other city officials and local cab companies who are speaking out against the companies that Madison police and the city attorney are calling illegal taxi services.
"Uber and Lyft are choosing to muscle their way into the Madison market rather than meeting with the established commissions to discuss their disagreements with our regulatory framework," Soglin wrote in his blog. "To most, this sounds like an average cab company, but the difference is the drivers aren't licensed or vetted by the city."
Soglin compares the city's regulation of taxi services to government regulation of cable and telephone providers.
According to Madison law, taxi and cab services must have operating licenses, vehicle and driver permits. Currently, neither Uber nor Lyft, which have been deemed taxi services, are registered.
Cab companies said they also have serious questions about how drivers and passengers are protected in accidents and surge pricing by the new ride-sharing services.
According to the websites of both companies, cars and drivers are insured by standard $1 million liability coverage and various amounts for uninsured drivers or passengers.
Soglin said in cities where these companies operate, it's difficult to find a cab at night, especially in poor weather, and the companies can't provide equal transportation to people with disabilities.
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