Yankton works to welcomes more ride-sharing services
YANKTON, S.D. (AP) — Officials in southeastern South Dakota are easing regulations to encourage more ride-sharing services in the city.
The Yankton City Commission voted unanimously this month to alter the city’s vehicles-for-hire ordinance, the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan reported. The previous ordinance required significant paperwork and an expensive annual vehicle inspection for each ride-sharing driver.
The process had worked for small, local operators, but not for large companies with thousands of drivers, said City Attorney Ross Den Herder.
He said the new process lifts the administrative burden associated with operating in Yankton. The change allows Lyft, Uber and similar companies to complete their own driver and vehicle approvals as required by law, he said. The ride-sharing providers won’t need to repeat the process at City Hall for each driver and vehicle.
“As required by South Dakota law, their drivers are required to go through a rigorous application and background check, and their vehicles must meet a reasonably high standard to be eligible to drive for the company,” Den Herder said.
The ordinance changes also “simplify and clarify aspects of a cumbersome licensing process for city staff, which is also a benefit,” he said.
The move comes after Lyft began servicing the state last year. The ride-sharing provider has many drivers interested in serving the city, according to Den Herder.
City Manager Amy Nelson said the new ordinance will open up Yankton’s market beyond the current taxi services.
“It gives other ride-share services the opportunity to do their business in our community,” she said.
Information from: Yankton Press and Dakotan, http://www.yankton.net/