City Officials Want To Shut Down Ridesharing Service UberX

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Concerns over safety could bring a ride-sharing service to a halt in Columbus.

The city is asking a judge for a temporary shut-down of UberX.

A city attorney said he plans to go before the judge Friday afternoon to explain why he thinks the service is a concern for public safety.

Some people around town who use the service told 10TV they think otherwise.

“I'll call Uber before I go to the bar to get a ride there and I'll call them 10 minutes before I leave the bar to get a ride home,” said OSU student Nate Myeroff.

“It was really convenient. I just like texted them and they came right away,” said OSU student Michelle Scaunas.

The ride-sharing service is growing in popularity. Instead of hailing traditional cabs, people use the Uber app to call a car.

“I figured they would be safe. I didn't think that they would be allowed to operate if they weren't,” said Scaunas.

Columbus city officials said UberX drivers are unregulated and therefore, unsafe.  They say the specific service has only been in existence in Columbus since March of 2014.

A city attorney said a 2-day sting netted enough evidence to prove that people are paying UberX drivers for rides, which they say is, "open disregard of Columbus' ordinances and regulations."

The city said UberX puts the public at risk because drivers are operating the cars without a permit and commercial insurance.

“I would have concerns with UberX just because it can be anyone who wants to drive a car,” said Columbus resident Amy Schmittauer.

Schmittauer told 10TV she relies on the pricier Uber Black service, which is regulated by the city.  She said the alternatives are much worse.

“We should feel very good about getting into a car with somebody that we don't know. It's supposed to be someone we can depend on getting us there, but I can tell you from experience that there have been many opportunities that I've taken a cab in Columbus, and not felt safe and those people are supposed to be regulated,” said Schmittauer.

10TV reached out to Uber for comment, but has not received a response.