HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Uber officials say the company might be forced to close on Oahu if a bill passes that would regulate its drivers like taxi drivers, affecting about 3,500 independent drivers.
Bill 85 would expand the definition of a cab company to include Uber and Lyft, requiring vehicles to have dome lights and meters. The bill would also prohibit using GPS to calculate distance and fares.
Howard Higa, of TheCab, and other cab companies back the bill saying Uber and Lyft function just like taxis.
"Their business plan is still taking someone from Point A to Point B for a fare. That's not TNC, that's taxi as far as I'm concerned," Higa said.
Taylor Patterson, of Uber, disagrees with the measure, claiming Uber is unique, all on its own.
"Uber is a technology company. It drives and enables people to become independent contractors and become drivers and create a flexible income opportunity for themselves," Patterson said.
The bill will go to the full Council for more discussion, then back to the Transportation committee.