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Duluth passes rideshare ordinance; opens city to Uber, Lyft

Lyft-UberDuluth City Councilors adopted an ordinance Monday establishing regulations for transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft to operate within in the city.

The measure passed 7-1, with Fifth District Councilor Jay Fosle casting the dissenting vote. The ordinance goes into effect April 27.

The video above is the full 35-minute discussion of the issue. It opens with four citizens speaking in opposition to the ordinance. Comments by city councilors begin at the 9:40 mark.

Duluth City Council ready for first look at “Uber Ordinance”

Uber logo Lyft logo

It’s been eight months since Duluth City Councilor Noah Hobbs had his first formal meeting with City Attorney Nate LaCoursiere to begin crafting an ordinance to regulate ridesharing businesses like Uber and Lyft.

Both companies have expressed interest in operating in Duluth, and now Hobbs’ ordinance is on the city council’s March 13 agenda for a first reading. The soonest the ordinance could pass is March 27; it would then go into effect 30 days later.

Uber poised to enter Duluth market

Uber logoThe question might not be why Duluth doesn’t have Uber service, but when it will.

“By the end of the year,” said Duluth City Councilor Noah Hobbs. “From my personal end I don’t see anything holding us back from having Uber operating in Duluth.”

Hobbs held the first formal meeting on Tuesday in regard to the ride-hailing web application operating in the city. He met with City Attorney Nate LaCoursiere as a starting point for crafting an ordinance to regulate Uber and other transportation network companies.

Unlike taxicabs, Uber utilizes an online platform to connect drivers in their personal vehicles with riders paying for fares through the touch of a button, no cash. This type of techy transportation is taking place in 476 cities worldwide and counting. Uber started out seven years ago in cities like San Francisco and Chicago, and has recently expanded into smaller communities like Moorhead and Iowa City.