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Dallas Council Delays Vote On Car-For-Hire Service

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – The future of an app-driven limousine service, called Uber, in Dallas remains up for debate.

Dozens of people showed up to Wednesday morning’s city council meeting to voice their support for the company, but they never got the chance.

Although an item to discuss Uber was placed on the agenda, some council members say they didn’t know enough about it to take any action.

The Uber app, which can be downloaded to any smartphone, is designed to match chauffeured cars with riders who want a luxury taxi-type service at the last minute.

Supporters say the service is prompt, convenient and the cars are clean.  But the city of Dallas has argued that the service violates transportation codes because the chauffeured cars are not required to follow the same rules as taxi cabs.

In some cases, undercover Dallas police officers have used the service and issued Class C misdemeanor citations to drivers at the end of the ride.

Uber executives say it is a tech, not a transportation company. City council will ultimately decide if drivers who use Uber’s service must operate under the same guidelines set for taxicabs.

At Wednesday’ meeting, city council members voted to table the issue and send it to the transportation committee for review. Mayor Mike Rawlings has also pledged an investigation to determine why there was a rush to get this vote on the agenda — before it went to committee and without any prior discussion.

“I think that we have an indication that council has not been given a complete explanation of 1. How the ordinance got drafted; 2. How and why the tickets were written with the use of vice cops; and 3. how it got placed on the agenda,” said council member Philip Kingston.

More than 15,000 supporters have signed a petition against any proposed “anti-Uber” changes to Dallas’ transportation code.

Uber said since January the number of users in Dallas is up 500%.

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