Uber, Lyft users argue for approval at Dallas meeting - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Uber, Lyft users argue for approval at Dallas meeting

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A showdown took place Tuesday night at city hall, pitting politically powerful Yellow Cab against a new transportation model -- the ridesharing services Uber and Lyft.

Cabs are now competing with limos and sedans that folks can summon and pay for on their smartphones.

The debate over how to regulate them had city hall packed Tuesday.

Dozens spoke at the mic, including satisfied Uber and Lyft customers.

"It's always been a phenomenal experience for me," said Danielle Cocanougher, who uses ridesharing. "The cars are always very clean, the drivers are always very nice, but more importantly, I think that this service is filling a great need here in Dallas."

Some also spoke out against traditional cab service.

Cab drivers were at the meeting, too, defending themselves against competition they feel doesn't play by the same rules.

But the ridesharing newcomers face an uphill battle at city hall, where cab companies have long been hefty campaign contributors.

Back in August, then-interim and now newly-named City Manager A.C. Gonzalez put strict regulations on the consent calendar that would have, without debate, effectively driven Uber and Lyft off the road.

The public outcry prompted an apology from Gonzalez and a promise from the council to have a transparent and open debate.

While committee chairwoman Vonceil Jones Hill at times seemed openly hostile to the ridesharers Tuesday night, some newcomers to the city council clearly were not.

"For a long time here in the City of Dallas, we've allowed one company, Yellow Cab, to have a virtual regulatory monopoly here," said Councilman Scott Griggs. "As a result of this regulatory monopoly, service has decreased to a point that it's given an opportunity for others to move in. And this is a welcome opportunity. We need to embrace new technology and new ways for people to move from point A to point B."

The council's transportation committee will meet one more time on Monday.

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