Ask The Mayor: Is Uber Going to Be Regulated by the County?
The mayor answers questions from the public in this series.
By Mayor Alan Arakawa
Q: Uber, which recently arrived on Maui, has had a list of problems worldwide. These problems include sexual assault by their drivers, violation of state and local regulations for car services, and complaints from their drivers who have no way of voicing concerns or complaints without getting “fired.”
By having their drivers be contract employees, they skirt employment laws and worker safety laws that cab drivers and other car services must abide by. Will Maui County try to enforce its laws and regulations for car services on this notoriously troubled company?
A: Maui County Code does not regulate this type of motor carrier. Instead, the service falls under the jurisdiction of the State’s Public Utilities Commission, commonly known as the PUC. According to HRS 271-8, persons transporting passengers… for compensation or hire are required to have a “certificate of public convenience and necessity” issued by the PUC. The commission investigates all instances of illegal operations under its jurisdiction, and is authorized to issue citations in the amount of $1,000, plus $500 for each day the violation continues, to transportation companies that fail to obtain certificates prior to providing transportation services.
Hawai‘i Administrative Rules 6-62-8 specifies the amounts of liability insurance that motor carriers are required to have, and the PUC is authorized to issue citations of $1,000, plus $500 for each day the violation continues, to persons who fail to carry the requisite insurance coverage. Additionally, any person providing prearranged ground transportation services at a public airport must obtain an appropriate airport permit.
Citations may be issued to violators by the Airports Division of the state Department of Transportation. To contact the PUC directly for more information or to file a complaint about a motor carrier, visit www.puc.hawaii.gov. If any Uber or Lyft passenger feels a crime has been committed, they should contact Maui Police Department.
Want to Ask the Mayor?
Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa by emailing [email protected], by calling 270-7855 or by mailing to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.