The popular ride-sharing service Uber has been issued a directive by the Public Service Commission to stop operating in South Carolina until it gets the proper certification by the state, according to local news reports.
Commissioners say Uber failed to obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity before starting its business in SC. The certificate is required for any motor vehicle carrier, including taxi cab services. "Consumers benefit from, and deserve choices in, the marketplace," the commission wrote. "However, those choices must be consistent with state law intended to protect the public."
According to the commission, Raiser LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, is now in the process of applying for the certificate. Uber launched in Columbia, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and Greenville in July of 2014. The ride-share service allows users to request a ride through its app, by which they can agree on a price, destination, and pick-up time with an Uber driver. While Uber claims they give their drivers extensive background checks, several city and state governments have concerns about the drivers and whether they have the proper level of insurance coverage.
Uber spokesperson Taylor Bennett states, "Despite working closely with the PSC for the past several months on a permanent solution for Uber in South Carolina, today's actions are unexpected and not reflective of the progress made thus far. We will challenge the order and remain committed to providing South Carolinians with greater opportunity and choice."
The City of Columbia announced in August of 2014 that it would not issue work permits for Uber until it got clarification from the Public Service Commission that Uber could be classified as a passenger carrier in the state.