Uber, Houston reach agreement to continue operating through Super Bowl


HOUSTON – In a 12-4 vote, Houston City Council members made it official -- Uber will continue to operate in the city through the Super Bowl on Feb. 5.

On Wednesday, they approved the revised rules for taxis, Uber and limo drivers.

The changes require drivers to still get fingerprint background checks, but there is no mandate for physicals or drug tests, which originally the city wanted.

Council members discussed the situation at length.

"Uber has fought every aspect of public safety we have tried to engage," Mike Laster said.

"Everyone agreed to the compromise and everybody's happy, and now we're putting doubt that we're putting criminals back on the streets to drive passengers, and this is not true," Dwight Boykins said.

"I believe in the freedom of choice. If you don't like Uber, don't use (it)," Greg Travis said.

Uber had threatened to pull out of Houston without some sort of compromise from the city.

Last month, the two reached an agreement, and Wednesday, the City Council voted on it.

In a statement, Sarfraz Maredia, general manager of Uber Texas, said:

“We have worked in good faith with Mayor Turner and the City Council towards a compromise that allows us to continue operating through the Super Bowl. Now that these changes have been formally adopted, we look forward to partnering with the City to help make the Super Bowl as successful as possible.”