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FAYETTEVILLE -- Two drivers for the ride-sharing service Uber were ticketed over the weekend for violating a city ordinance.

The company, which connects independent drivers with customers using a mobile app, launched in Fayetteville late last month, despite objections from City Attorney Kit Williams.

City code requires all taxicab companies to obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity, which must be approved by the City Council. All applicants have to submit to a background check. Companies must provide proof of liability insurance covering commercial vehicles. All vehicles are subject to a city inspection and must display a permit decal.

Neither Uber nor any of its drivers have met those requirements.

Fayetteville Police Sgt. Craig Stout said Monday officers arranged for a ride from Aaron Welch, 31, of Rogers through Uber's mobile app. When they met Welch at 251 N. West Ave. on Saturday evening, they issued him citations for operating without a certificate of public convenience and necessity and operating without a taxi inspection decal.

Welch was driving a 2013 Hyundai Sonata. He faces $185 in fines.

Stout said bicycle officers saw another driver, Juan Mendez-Grijalva, 25, of Springdale stopped in a lane of traffic early Sunday morning on West Avenue. The officers reportedly recognized Mendez-Grijalva's vehicle and overheard a conversation with a potential customer. They cited him for operating without a certificate of public convenience and necessity, operating without a taxi inspection decal and impeding traffic. Mendez-Grijalva faces fines of up to $330.

Williams, the city attorney, said by email Monday citations will continue as long as Uber drivers continue to operate without city oversight.

"They would need the City Council to issue a certificate ... and go through the whole permitting process unless the City Council changes the rules," Williams said.

NW News on 09/16/2014

Print Headline: Uber Drivers Cited

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