LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - "I pulled it up, downloaded it for my phone and then went looking to see if our city was included. Of course, it wasn't," Luke Henley says. Little Rock resident, Luke Henley, is referring to Uber. He continues, "In other cities I've used the car service and I think it's fantastic."
It is one of the popular ways to participate in what is called ride-sharing. Through a smart-phone app, riders are connected to drivers, making getting around a city more accessible. Henley says, "We have an opportunity to get better cab service and frankly it will be better."
But Little Rock City Attorney Thomas Carpenter mailed a letter to Uber and a similar service called Lyft, saying their companies "have not applied for and obtained the required permits to operate a taxicab service in Little Rock." On Monday night, we spoke with Uber's spokesperson Taylor Bennett over the phone. Bennett says, "Uber is a technology company first and foremost, they are not a transportation company. To fall under the transportation headline just isn't accurate."
Bennett says the company has received an overwhelming response from people living in Little Rock and they are currently exploring the demand. He says,"We would like to be in any city right now where transportation options fall short."
As for Henley, he is hoping the city and the ride-sharing company can work together in exploring this new opportunity for Little Rock. Henley says, "It's not something that you're forced to use, cabs are still going to exist. They still exist in all the other cities that use Uber. I think it could be good, we just need to back off and worry a little less about regulating everything and let some people do some good."