Wichita cab company wants Uber gone

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WICHITA, KAN. --- Thursday marks one week since Uber was launched in Wichita, and already it's stirring up controversy.

The ride share company that connects passengers with civilian drivers using a free mobile app Is receiving both praise for its convenience and criticism of its legality.

This debate certainly isn't unique to Wichita. Many cities across the country with Uber are dealing with the question: should Uber be held to the same standards as traditional taxi cab companies?

Since taking the job to be an Uber driver last Thursday, David Lies already has 37 rides under his belt.

"The excitement that people have had with Uber coming from bigger cities and finally landing in Wichita, Kan. has been ecstatic," Lies said.

But not everyone is on board with the idea. Timothy Armbrust with Best Cab isn't so much worried about the added competition, rather the disclaimer on the company's website.

"You may be exposed to transportation that is potentially dangerous, offensive, harmful to minors, unsafe, or otherwise objectionable, and that you use the application and the service at your own risk," Armbrust read from Uber.com.

The City of Wichita requires all taxi cab drivers have a special license--something Uber drivers aren't required to have because the city doesn't consider them a traditional taxi. Armbrust says that puts everyone at risk because that special license indicates proof of a background check.

Uber drivers assure, their insurance, criminal record and driving history were all reviewed before they were hired.

"Uber seems to have gone through great extent on making sure that the drivers that are in their cars are without a record," Lies said.

The city says it's currently evaluating any necessary regulation of shared ride businesses, and will present options to council members in the upcoming months.

Armbrust says he is also hoping to share his opinion with the city.

"I would ask that they not allow them to be here in the city," Armbrust said. "I mean, it doesn't look good to Wichita. We're trying to make Wichita look better, not make Wichita look worse."


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