Myrtle Beach leaders say Uber drivers are operating illegally

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - On Tuesday, local cab drivers turned out to discuss the car service, Uber with the Myrtle Beach City Council. 

City leaders reached out to local cab drivers for input. Read more, here.

During the meeting, Charles Moore, with Diamond Cab, spoke for the group. He said Uber drivers are operating illegally inside the city limits and members of the city council agreed.

"We've got to do something to stop them and we want y'all to help," pleads Moore to council.

According to the Myrtle Beach City Attorney, Thomas Ellenburgh, the company Uber is operating like a limousine company, except they aren't paying for a business license or a drivers' permit. Ellenburgh said  these UBER drivers are working like independent contractors.  One of the issues discussed during the meeting was safety concerns and insurance if there was an accident in an Uber vehicle.

Currently, Myrtle Beach Police report that there are at least two Uber drivers operating in the city. Myrtle Beach Police Captain Marty Brown said they're looking into a possible sting operation, "but when you get into that kind of operation with technology, the problem comes up with caller ID...logistical issues would have to be work around and adapt to."

If an Uber driver is found operating in the city, according to Captain Brown, they would face a possible misdemeanor.

Owner of Sunshine Taxi, Gerald Wood, had this to say when it comes to the future of UBER in the city, "In the long run I think if Uber really wants to continue I think they will, but again put us on the same playing field make them pay the same permits then they can't say anything because they'll be totally legal."

The city attorney also added during the meeting that the city could file a civil action lawsuit against these drivers but that would take time to do. For previous WMBF News coverage on Uber operating illegally, click here.

It's not clear yet on when Uber will be disused amongst council members in the future.

Uber is a company that allows their mobile app to connect passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire and ridesharing services. The service arrived in Myrtle Beach in early July.

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