“All motor carriers transporting persons or property for compensation to first obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity before commencing operation,” says the commission in a letter about the app-driven transportation network.
The company didn’t receive a warm welcome from many in South Carolina when it started serving the state nearly seven months ago. Opponents argue that because Uber drivers aren’t certified, passengers don’t exactly know who they’re getting in a car with.
Lisa Marie Towne, owner and operator of Cabby of Charleston, is one of the many traditional cab drivers that want to ban Uber from South Carolina.
“As a taxi driver, I take great pride in the fact that I’m legal,” says Towne. She argues that Uber drivers need to be certified in the same ways that she is.
Towne claims that once they obtain proper certification, she’ll be fine with Uber operating in South Carolina. But until then, she won’t welcome them on the road.
Michael Debault was struggling to make ends meet as a graphic designer and deliveryman three months ago when some of his friends suggested he give Uber a try.
He agrees that Uber drivers could benefit from more licensing, but argues that the service is still safe and doesn’t think a cease and desist order is the right way to fix the issue.
“You have people that are feeding their families on Uber,” says DeBault. “You have people that are depending on Uber to get back and forth to work you’re going to greatly interrupt people’s lives and you’re going to hurt people. That’s not right.”
The Uber driver argues that his company provides a younger, stylish way to catch a ride. “It’s moving Charleston around, and I fail to see how that’s a bad thing,” says DeBault.
State Rep. Leon Stavrinakis recently filed a bill in an attempt to allow Uber to operate within the state. Meetings have been scheduled for February to talk about the issue further.