New regulations announced for ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft

Regulations level playing field with taxis, limos

DETROIT – New ride-sharing regulations were announced Tuesday and will force companies such as Uber and Lyft to play by the same rules as taxis and limos.

What do the regulations mean for users?

At first glance, the regulations might seem to be a bad deal for services such as Uber and Lyft, but one driver said he wishes the rules had gone a little further.

Mike Powell has been driving for Uber and Lyft for two years, and he said the new law basically makes him legal.

"It's not really changing anything except the police can't really harass us as much," Powell said. "Because Uber has really never been legal."

Now ride-sharing drivers must have the proper license, undergo criminal background checks, have vehicles inspected and place logos in the window.

The new law is already evident at Detroit Metro Airport.

The law doesn't regulate fares, which means the cost of rides isn't going up. The drivers' wages have taken a dive in the price war between Uber and Lyft.

"When I started two years ago, it was $1.20 a mile," Powell said. "Now it's 70 cents a mile."

Cab fares are regulated, and Devlin Woolfolk said the new law is a good first step to putting drivers on an even playing field.

"That's all we want is regular regulations for everyone," Woolfolk said.

Many ride-sharing drivers already meet some of the requirements outlined in the new regulations, which only costs them a few extra dollars per year.

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