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Rideshare driver questions permit requirement to operate in Port Aransas

Posted at 9:50 PM, Jul 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-09 23:13:56-04

PORT ARANSAS, Tx — It's been nearly two years since a state law went into effect that allows rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft to legally operate here in Texas. That's why a driver was shocked when she says a Port Aransas police officer told her that she could not drive there without additional regulation.

Dawn Skrobarczyk says the encounter happened on Saturday while she was waiting for her passenger to arrive.

"A police officer approached me and informed me that I am not allowed to drive here in Port A without a permit," she told KRIS 6 News.

She said that she followed up with the city on Monday and was told that it was a requirement, and the permit would cost "anywhere from $200 to $400."

It wasn't long before she shared her experience with Michelle Coud and other local rideshare drivers in a Facebook group.

"Never once has it ever been brought to our attention, you know, in the years that everybody has been driving that any kind of permit was needed," Doud said. "Especially since most of us are familiar with bill signed by (governor) Greg Abbott."

House Bill 100 was signed into law in May 2017. It deems the regulation of rideshare companies in Texas as "an exclusive power and function of this state," and goes on to state that those companies "may not be regulated by a municipality or other local entity...including by...requiring an additional license or permit."

Skrobarczyk and Doud are hopeful there will be a quick resolution so they can get back to work without worry and provide a service they say keeps Port Aransas safe for locals and tourists.

"These are people that are coming from out of state. They're here to party, have fun and we don't want them getting behind the wheel of a car, you know?" Skrobarczyk said.

Officials in Port Aransas told KRIS 6 News that the city attorney is now looking into the matter to figure if that ordinance can be enforced. Meanwhile, Skrobarczyk said that she contacted Lyft about the issue and told her that the company would conduct its own investigation.