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Uber Launches In Austin Illegally

Updated: Wednesday, June 4 2014, 03:58 PM CDT

Uber launches today in Austin just in time for the X Games.

The chauffeur service operates through the use of an app. The app finds your location through GPS and lets you choose the driver closest to you. The ride is even paid for through the app.

The problem right now in Austin, though, is it's illegal for Uber to charge because it lacks the proper permits.

Samantha Alexander, the public information and marketing manager for the Austin Transportation Department, says Uber is operating illegally.

Alexander says it does not have ground transportation operating authority, and drivers do not have the necessary chauffer's permit. If the driver is paid by either a company or a passenger more than the Federal Reimbursement rate ($0.56/mile), a chauffeur's permit is required.

When asked why Uber is choosing to operate illegally, Lauren Altmin, a spokesperson for Uber, said they look forward to working with the city to "develop sensible regulations."

Right now the company risks receiving a citation, and the driver could receive up to a class C misdemeanor and risks their car possibly being impounded.

Altmin says Austinites have shown an overwhelming response to the car service. She says in 48 hours, 20,000 people signed a petition to bring Uber to Austin.

In addition to Austin, Uber also launched today in Orlando and Miami. It is now active in 120 cities worldwide.

For more information on Uber, visit their website.

By Deeda Payton

Uber Launches In Austin Illegally


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