The mayor of Newark, New Jersey, has released details on a tentative agreement he’s reached with ride-hailing company Uber to operate in the state’s largest city.
The deal calls for Uber to pay Newark $1 million a year for 10 years for permission to operate at Newark Liberty International Airport, which serves the New York City region and is one of the busiest airports in the nation. The San Francisco-based company also will provide $1.5 million in liability coverage for all drivers in its network.
Democratic Mayor Ras Baraka said Uber also agreed to have a nationally accredited, third-party provider conduct background checks on all of its drivers and enforce a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol abuse policy.
Baraka announced the agreement on April 15, but it’s unclear when the City Council will consider it. The details of the deal were made public April 16.
The city and Uber had been in a public dispute recently over taxes, licensing and background checks.
In February, Newark officials said the city would start ticketing or towing Uber drivers who operated at the train station or the airport, but the ban was shelved.
Uber has operated largely unregulated in California in recent years. It says it has about 15,000 independent contractor drivers in New Jersey.
Newark’s deal with Uber was panned by taxi organizations, which say ride-hailing has significantly cut their profits. They have been pushing for regulations that they say would level the playing field playing field between taxi and rideshare companies.
“This is an agreement for $10 million that benefits the city and the rideshare companies, not the (taxi) drivers. Based on what I see right now, the only thing that it creates an unfair balance,” the president of CWA Local 1039, Lionel Leach, told NJ.com.
Leach’s union represents nearly 300 taxi drivers.
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