| DENVER, June 6
DENVER, June 6 Colorado has become the first
state to pass legislation regulating companies such as Uber and
others that let the public hail rides from drivers via
Officials are grappling with how to regulate the fast growth
of rides-on-demand services, which have drawn opposition from
taxi and limousine operators who say the tech companies have an
unfair advantage because they don't face the same rules.
Colorado's law, which passed with bipartisan support and was
signed by Governor John Hickenlooper on Thursday, requires
companies to carry $1 million in liability insurance, have their
drivers pass background checks and their vehicles inspected by
The measure's Republican sponsor, Libby Szabo, said the
emerging technology is "a great example of entrepreneurship."
"The necessary safety regulations will be in place and these
new, innovative transportation services will have the freedom to
expand in Colorado," she said.
In a statement accompanying the bill-signing, Hickenlooper,
a Democrat, said he remained concerned that the companies will
be allowed to conduct their own background checks.
"We ask the (Public Utilities Commission) staff ... to
monitor this issue over time and report any identified
problems," he said.
Uber said on Friday it raised $1.2 billion in a funding
round which valued the service at more than $18 billion - one of
the highest price tags ever for a Silicon Valley startup.
In a blog post, the company was fulsome in its praise for
Colorado's lawmakers, who it said had passed legislation that
supported consumer choice and empowered small-business owners.
"With a vision for innovation, they resisted the
misinformation and efforts of special interests and instead,
proactively reached across the aisle to develop sensible
regulations that allow ridesharing to thrive," Uber said.
Uber was founded in 2009 by two U.S. technology
entrepreneurs, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, and has
expanded to operate in 128 cities across 37 countries.
(Editing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Sandra Maler)