D.C. takes aim at Uber car service with new regs

WASHINGTON – In a move that appears to take direct aim at popular car service Uber, the D.C. Taxicab Commission is working to establish regulations for sedan-class companies.

The regulations would establish rules for operators of sedan-class car companies, including establishing the types of cars, inspections, licensing, advertising and reservation services required.

“What it means for hundreds of small businesses, if not thousands of small businesses in the District, is they’re pretty quickly going to be going out of business,” says Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick.

Most notably, the commission says sedan-class companies must have at least 20 vehicles in their fleets to operate.

Uber, a self-described “on-demand private driver,” works by connecting riders to nearby sedans for pick-up. The company connects some car companies with fewer than 20 sedans to clients.

“D.C. has been just a particularly difficult place to do business. It’s easier to do business in Paris than it is in the District,” Kalanick says.

D.C. Taxicab Commission Chairman Ron Linton says the regulations do not take aim at Uber, and the regulations still have to go through a review process.

“The regulations never look the same at the end (of the process) as they did at the beginning,” he says.

WTOP’s Adam Tuss contributed to this report. Follow Adam and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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