Uber continues to face challenges in Madison as the city recently filed a legal suit against the ride-share company, seeking $42,000 in fines.
A complaint was filed in the Madison Municipal Court which alleges 42 counts of ordinance violations, with fines ranging from $100 to $1,000, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. The city is seeking a total of $42,000 from Uber, alleging that the company has been illegally providing paid rides to customers.
The lawsuit is the latest of troubles Uber is facing, and the company has had issues with the legality of its operations in the past. In April 2014, two company drivers faced citations for violating Madison’s taxi service ordinances.
Madison City Council President, Ald. Chris Schmidt, District 11, said some of the biggest issues Uber faces with the city come from its lack of insurance, 24-hour coverage, handicap accessibility and practice of surge pricing.
Madison is not the only city in the nation to have problems with the ride-share company. Portland, Oregon also sued the company in December 2014 under similar pretenses.
The City of Madison is suing Uber, seeking $42,000 in damages for providing rides without a license http://t.co/dR8MmwyVSY
— Nico Savidge (@NSavidge) February 2, 2015
Ordinances, which would impact all ride-share companies, have been been under revision by the city Transit and Parking Commission. The ordinance will attempt to regulate the ways in which ride-sharing companies operate in Madison. The commission hopes to specifically tailor insurance requirements and potentially place a ban on surge pricing, however a final result has yet to be reached, Schmidt said.
Schmidt said the lawsuits will not change the Commission’s goal of coming up with revisions to the current taxi ordinance. However, Schmidt said he is unsure how the lawsuit will affect the relationship between Uber and Madison.
“Whether or not the suit changes the relationship is up to both of the parties,” Schmidt said. “When you have a conflict between the government and a business … whether or not there’s bad blood is a choice the people on both sides make.”
In terms of city relationships with businesses post-lawsuit, Schmidt said the city has a mixed track record. Some, he said, have worked out fine in the end, though some have turned into “all-out war.”
In an email to The Badger Herald, Uber spokesperson, Lauren Altmin said the citations issued by the city indicate its lack of understanding of the Uber business platform. She said the Madison community has embraced the business since Uber’s launch in the city.
“We look forward to working collaboratively with the city to develop a progressive regulatory framework that accounts for the benefits ridesharing brings to the community,” Altmin said.