The Kennewick City Council voted 4-0 this week to approve new rules for taxis and related services that open the door for Uber and similar internet-based transportation companies to operate in the Tri-Cities.
The council voted unanimously to adopt the new regulations with Mayor Steve Young and councilmen John Trumbo and Paul Parish absent.
Uber first attempted to enter the market in early 2016 but pulled out pending local authorization.
Kennewick, which is taking the lead on the “transportation network company” issue, initially balked at approving Uber saying it wanted to be in charge of conducting background checks for drivers. Uber countered that it would not come if it was not in charge.
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Under a compromise, Uber will conduct the checks and the city will have the ability to audit the results.
An Uber spokesman could not immediately say when the company will begin operating in the Tri-Cities.