Falmouth Taxi Operators Want Updated Bylaws for New Ride-Sharing Services

ThinkstockPhotos-499094053FALMOUTH – The growing popularity of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are causing concerns with local taxi operators.

Drivers use their private cars and do not have to pay for additional licensing or insurance requirements that taxi companies and their drivers are required to have.

Uber launched on the Cape and Islands in late May but company officials have said that it’s unclear if they will be around after the summer is over.

At a Falmouth board of selectmen meeting earlier this month, taxi operators urged the town to update its local bylaws and provide protection for taxi businesses.

Falmouth Taxi owner Paul Moore said he just wants things to be fair.

“Uber is an unregulated business and what we’re looking for is basically a level playing field,” said Moore. “We’re not looking to change any bylaws or any regulation.”

The current bylaw covers taxicabs, livery autos and limousines.

Governor Charlie Baker filed legislation in April that calls for the state to require drivers that take part in Uber and Lyft to undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information check before being hired.

The legislation also requires vehicles taking part in ride-sharing services to have a minimum insurance coverage of $1 million.

Selectmen took no action during the meeting but said that they could revisit the discussion on an upcoming agenda.

Moore said updating the bylaws in town makes sense.

“Competition is something we embrace. . . . I don’t think I can compete with them on a global basis but I think locally, we can,” said Moore.

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