Gov. Doug Ducey supports lifting regulations banning UberX from Phoenix Sky Harbor

In his State of the State address, Gov. Doug Ducey announced his support for lifting regulations that keep UberX out of Phoenix Sky Harbor, which would further the growth of ride-sharing companies within the state.

Uber has become a monolithic icon of the so-called “sharing economy” across the world. As its popularity continues to grow, debates about Uber have been raised in legislatures across the countries.

Ducey said he intends to push the state to adapt to the fast-growing ride share industry.

"I want startups in the sharing economy to know: California may not want you, but Arizona does," Ducey said.

Ducey called on the city of Phoenix to remove regulations banning some UberX drivers from entering the airport for pick-up. Phoenix Sky Harbor complies with the city of Phoenix Ordinances regulating established fare rates and safety requirements that apply to car services allowed to pick-up from the terminals.

Uber submits each driver to a criminal background check, but does not push for fingerprinting or the security-threat assessment which is required for airport pick-up. Cab companies pay for contracts with Phoenix Sky Harbor and the drivers comply with the security standards.

Cab companies struggle to keep up with an information sharing company like Uber which boasts a competitively low overhead partly due to the classification of its drivers as independent contractors.

According to Uber's website, the company offers a plethora of ride options with UberX as its most used and affordable option.

Many drivers of Uber Select and Uber Black are able to pick up passengers from the airport because they have elected to take on the expense of security clearance.

Uber’s most expensive options can match and exceed the usual cab fare which reduce their competitive pricing with taxi companies.

Uber Select is a mid-range option costing more than UberX and less than Uber Black. Select offers luxury vehicles such as BMW, Lexus, Mercedes and Audi. 

Uber Black is the most luxurious and most expensive option offered by the company. Riders choosing the Black Car service can expect to be picked up by a Lincoln Town Car or Cadillac.

To encourage this to happen, Ducey has established the Governor’s Council on the sharing economy. The council aims to create a better environment for technological innovation in Arizona by providing legislative initiatives.

Since its creation in 2009, Uber has grown into a multinational corporation that attempts to reshape the ride services around the world. It has grown in popularity within the University's community. In addition to its smartphone accessibility, its most appealing quality is its price.

Journalism freshman Sunaina Tandon used Uber to get to the airport for fall break. She said she chose Uber over a traditional taxi service.

“Uber is more convenient and easy to split with a friend which is really cheap," Tandon said.

Sports journalism junior Ryan Curry said he chose Uber to take him to the airport for Thanksgiving break. He had to take a cab back to his apartment on the return trip because of Sky Harbor’s safety regulations.

Ryan said he finds the pressure to use a cab unfortunate, and if given the choice, he would choose Uber over a taxi.

“I find that to be very, very disturbing given the fact that I don’t want to spend $25 to get to my apartment which is 25 minutes away," he said. 

Related Links:

3 things you might have missed from Gov. Ducey's State of the State Address

Tempe Police: Intoxicated man punches Uber driver who refused to drive him


 Reach the reporter at isabelcfish@gmail.com and follow @IsabelEwan on Twitter.

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