NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Officials in New Jersey’s largest city are set to announce an agreement with Uber.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka revealed details that were ironed out between Newark and the ride-hailing company on Tuesday. Officials say the deal will provide revenue to the city, protect the city’s taxi industry and enhance the safety of riders.
Baraka announced a tentative deal with Uber two weeks ago that included a fee for operating at Newark Liberty International Airport.
The deal calls for Uber to pay the city $1 million a year for 10 years for permission to operate at the airport. The company also will provide $1.5 million in liability coverage for all drivers in its network.
The Port Authority has suggested it could block the $10 million deal because state law gives it control of airport contracts, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.
“I think Port Authority is wrong and that they are being opportunist right now,” Baraka said. “We own the property.”
Under the new agreement, Uber would be required to pay the City of Newark up to $3 million up-front for ability to access the airport. The company would still be required to pay the full $10 million fee over a period of 10 years, regardless of whether Uber became regulated by the state in the future.
Once at the airport, Uber drivers would be required to stand in a separate dispatch location away from taxi waiting areas and would not be allowed to wait at Newark airport terminals to pick up clients, according to the agreement.
The mayor said cab drivers were in on the discussion with Uber, with some voicing their complaints.
“They’re not afraid of technology, they embrace it. They just don’t want the government to pull out the rug from under them,” said Pat Russo, a lawyer representing several groups pf taxi drivers.
Baraka says Uber also agreed to have a nationally-accredited, third-party provider conduct background checks on all of its drivers and enforce a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol abuse policy.
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