City has concerns about Uber

At a meeting of the Milwaukee Public Works Committee today, a new car service came under scrutiny.

San Francisco-based Uber, a mobile app that connects passengers with drivers of vehicles, launched in Milwaukee last week. It now has a presence in more than 70 cities worldwide.

City Attorney Adam Stephens said regardless of the type of vehicle driven, Uber operates under the model of a taxicab.

Alderman Robert Bauman indicated the company’s lack of taxi insurance could pose a risk to riders.

While the city is not regulating for the sake of regulating and the company would likely be beneficial to Milwaukee residents, it should have a city license to operate, Bauman said.

“The more competition, the better, but all that competition should be on the same playing field,” he said.

Bauman has been in contact with a Milwaukee-based government affairs firm that represents Uber, but a representative could not attend today’s committee meeting.

“They have offered to have a meeting,” Bauman said. “We’ll sit down and meet with them at the earliest opportunity. In the meantime, we have to continue with our process and hopefully come to some satisfactory resolution.”

The committee has launched an investigation into Uber.

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