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Uber Shuts Down Shop in Kansas, Will More States Follow?

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/7/2015 Kelly Pleskot

Just when we thought the modern hitchhiking service was unstoppable, Uber left Kansas this week after the state legislature pushed for new rules on ridesharing services.

Uber X App Screen Shot© Provided by MotorTrend Uber X App Screen Shot

The legislature overrode a decision by Gov. Sam Brownback, who vetoed stricter rules on ridesharing. Both chambers secured well over the two-thirds majority needed for the vote.

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Under the new law, drivers for ridesharing services will have to undergo background checks from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. As of now, Uber instead conducts its own third-party background checks. Drivers would also have to secure additional auto insurance coverage beyond the $1 million Uber promises specifically for when they are on the clock transporting passengers.

Thanks to the decision, 700 Uber drivers that were previously operating in the state had to close up their car doors for business. Uber says it has facilitated tens of thousands of rides in Kansas since it arrived in the state last year.

In an impassioned post on Uber's official blog, a writer said the legislature's decision not only destroyed jobs but also eliminated the opportunity for Kansas dwellers to get a safe ride after a night of drinking. Uber says the new regulations make it "impossible for Uber to operate in the state."

As of now, there might be just one way around the problem. A woman tweeted the official account of 2015 Ford Transit Launch" target="_blank">Kansas City, Mo. and asked if someone could enter Kansas through Uber if the ride originates in border state Missouri. The city replied that it's "perfectly legal."

Which states might be next for imposing regulations on Uber? The ridesharing service has ruffled feathers with a number of cities, including Eugene, Ore. over safety requirements and Anchorage, Alaska regarding fares for drivers.

Source: Uber, Reuters, Associated Press, KMBC

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