The smartphone-based car service Uber has encountered a barrier to its expansion into New Orleans in the form of high minimum fare requirements, the New Orleans CityBusiness reports.
The city council introduced legislation last week that would establish a minimum fare of at least $25 for an Uber sedan ride. Uber officials were expecting a minimum fare requirement of about $10 to $15 dollars. A $25 minimum fare would be one of the more expensive minimums in more than 70 cities where the service operates.
High minimum fare requirements have been criticized in other markets where Uber has expanded in recent years. In Washington, DC, initial plans that would have required the service to charge about five times the amount of a regular taxi ride were scrapped in City Council after a campaign by Uber’s vocal (and tech-savvy) supporters.
Enthusiasm about Uber’s expansion into Tampa, Florida in time for the 2012 Republican National Convention was dampened by the realization that local rules required a minimum fare of $50, a result of lobbying by Tampa’s limousine commission.
In New Orleans, the City Council Transportation Committee will take up the issue in the coming weeks.