Uber is Everywhere, Except Kansas

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The idea behind Uber is simple and it’s one that people have embraced across the world. It eliminates the need to stand out in the cold, rain, or heat trying to hail a taxi and instead sends a car right to your location to give you a ride. It sounds like a great idea, but there are problems.

Unlike taxi drivers who are licensed and regulated, Uber drivers are just a bunch of people with cars who want to make a few extra bucks. Anyone could show up to give you a ride, so there’s a certain amount of risk. There’s nothing to assure you that the driver or the car is safe and this is causing people worry. I think it’s odd to target Uber as unsafe because riding in the back of any taxi always feels like you’re taking your life in your hands. Uber cars are only missing the light on the roof and the bright yellow paint job.

The public is afraid so the government in Kansas has stepped in to fix the problem or make it worse, depending on your point of view. This help comes in the form of a bill which the governor vetoed. His veto was overridden by the state legislature and now you’ll know you’re in Kansas when you can’t hail an Uber.

They didn’t specifically ban the company, but made laws which make it too difficult for them to operate. It’s the same thing that keeps Tesla from selling their cars everywhere. Rather than making a law targeting a specific company by name, they make a law targeting a business practice that makes it impossible for a company to operate.

This bill calls for drivers of ride-hailing services to undergo background checks conducted by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. They will also be required to each increase their insurance coverage beyond the $1 million already provide by Uber. This is a dealbreaker so the company has completely shut down operations in the state.

If you try to hail an Uber in Kansas you’ll now get a message saying that Kansas has shut them down, just to make it clear that it’s not by choice. The governor isn’t happy with this either as it doesn’t encourage new businesses to come to his fair state. It also just put a lot of people out of work which is not something the governor wants under his watch.

The new law means people in Kansas will have to hail a ride the old-fashioned way, unless another law changes this one sometime in the future.