JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - After a proposal to regulate ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft in Jefferson Parish was repeatedly deferred in the past, on Wednesday the Jefferson Parish Council took action.
"It's been a tremendous task to incorporate everyone's request and everyone's changes," Councilwoman Jennifer Van Vranken said.
Van Vranken proposed the newest ordinance to achieve what was called a level playing field for both the cab companies and operations like Uber and Lyft. She said the ordinance retains some key regulations that the cab companies have always supported.
"The preference for set fares that are familiar to our cab industry. We're leaving those in place, so again, we're trying to find a moderate middle ground," Van Vranken said.
It also adds some new regulations that all of the companies will have to follow, like random drug tests and annual background checks for all drivers.
"We've been operating for some time and we've been working with the council over those many months to try and find an opportunity for Uber to be regulated in a good manner. I think the ordinance passed today gets us there," Uber representative Trevor Theunissen said.
While Theunissen said the company is happy with the ordinance, he says it would like to see consistent statewide regulation rather than parish by parish.
Before the vote, the council was asked to hold off so that state legislators would have an opportunity to pass state regulations. However, the council opted to move forward with a vote.