Uber denied permit to provide ride-sharing services in Albuquerque

Posted at: 06/25/2014 11:32 AM
Updated at: 06/25/2014 11:41 AM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com

Photo: MGN

Another setback for a popular ride-sharing company in Albuquerque: The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has denied Uber's application for a temporary permit to provide passenger services.

The company uses an app to connect people needing rides with drivers who use their own cars--sometimes at lower fares than those offered by taxi companies.

"The decision was made because Uber does not meet the legislature's definition of a specialized passenger service under state law," PRC spokesman Arthur Bishop said. "Separately, but in the same case, the commission voted to initiate a rulemaking to consider amending its rules to include provisions for transportation network companies."

A timeline for the rulemaking is not clear at this point, Bishop said.

Tech startups Uber and Lyft both met state opposition to their ridesharing services when they expanded to the Duke City in April. 

The PRC says the companies are providing taxi services without the proper permits and safety guidelines required by state law.

Lyft was ordered to stop operations in Albuquerque in May, but the company did not comply.

Lyft faces tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

"New Mexico residents deserve access to the same modern and safe transportation options that are available in dozens of cities and states across the country," a Lyft spokesperson wrote to KOB in May. "We will continue to work with local officials in hopes of reaching a solution that prioritizes public safety, expands consumer choice and encourages innovation in the state of New Mexico."