Kansas City could change how people catch rides - KCTV5

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Kansas City could change how people catch rides

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Each side is working to put food on the table, and Wednesday's round table discussion was about how ride-sharing is offering their service without regulation. Each side is working to put food on the table, and Wednesday's round table discussion was about how ride-sharing is offering their service without regulation.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV/AP) -

Kansas City could change how people catch a ride.

Traditional cabs and ride-sharing, like Uber, serve the consumer. Whether one dials a number or opens an app, someone will pick them up. However, the issue at hand is what fees traditional services are paying and ride-sharing isn't. 

Xavier DeJesus found Uber through a veteran assistance program.

"I've done about 200 drives, and people love it so much. I don't see why it would be taken away," the Uber driver said.

Max Heter operates his preferred towncar cab service and pays city fees.

"These drivers are right with wanting to make a buck. We all are. It's just the degree to which they do that," said Heter, with Preferred Ride Services.

Each side is working to put food on the table, and Wednesday's round table discussion was about how ride-sharing is offering their service without regulation.

"It is kind of like saying you or anybody else can walk in, start saying 'I can sell you a service,' and you have no credentials and no credibility," Heter said.

Cab companies get credibility from licensing that ride sharers don't currently pay - nearly $500 is what it costs to operate a licensed cab.

"Why should we pay a full regulatory fee when it doesn't require that much control," DeJesus asked. 

The quality of service and rider safety are in question. But it boils down to money and regulation.

"Do you feel you need to be licensed the same way as a taxi driver?" DeJesus said. "I think there needs to be some guidelines. I think definitely that our self regulated approach works."

Now the city has heard from both sides. The next step is deciding how the city will regulate ride sharing services in the future.

Those who couldn't make it to the Southeast Community Center meeting could still make their voice heard by logging onto kcmomentum.org and leaving a comment for the city.

Uber is facing an uphill battle in many states, especially California. The state slapped Uber with a civil lawsuit, claiming it violated state law.

The suit claims Uber misled customers about driver background checks and charged unnecessary fees. A spokesperson for Uber said they've met with district attorneys in California to address their concerns.

KCTV5's Amy Anderson and Lisa D'Souza contributed to this report.

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