HOBOKEN - UPDATE: Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer has released a statement regarding the Uber Service:
"Uber and similar companies offer a valuable transportation option that we want to make available to Hoboken residents and visitors," said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. "Since April, I have been advocating to our State elected officials to ensure that this transportation option can operate safely and lawfully in our community. I am glad to hear that there is legislation pending before the State Senate and Assembly to address the issue. I urge the legislature to pass S2274/A3586 expeditiously so that we can safely and legally use these services which are so important to our residents. As mayor, I have an obligation to ensure the public safety of our community, and this new legislation addresses my concerns by ensuring that all drivers have safe driving and background records and proper levels of insurance in case of accidents."
A smartphone app that helps users find a ride has made its way to Hoboken, but it's making traditional cab drivers uneasy.
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The service, called Uber, is illegal in the city, but at least one city official is now on record saying the law should be changed to allow them.
Kasper Johansen likes the service because it's a fraction of the cost of traditional cabs. "You already have a set price," he says.
Councilman David Mello supports Uber. He believes competition is a good thing. He recently took his first ride and posted it on YouTube and liked what he saw. "It's a great service," he says. "I'm really impressed and It's certainly nothing that I want anybody in Hoboken to not be able to use and capitalize on."
Cabbies disagree. "We're not supporting it because we're losing maybe 50 percent of the business for the company," says Charlie Sharlghovrial.
Cab drivers tell News 12 that they're paying hundreds of dollars every week for their taxis but they're not getting the money back because of the competition.
Any changes to the laws will first need to be regulated by lawmakers in Trenton.
Uber drivers face fines of up to $1,000 if they are caught picking up fares.