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With legislative hurdles jumped, Uber makes North Dakota debut in Fargo

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After apparently holding its breath for the outcome of a recent vote in the North Dakota Legislature, a popular ridesharing service will soon be rolling out in the state's largest city.

Uber will launch in Fargo on Thursday, according to the Forum, which says the company is warning customers to expect high demand as it wades through driver applications.

Still, an Uber spokesman told the paper, "we're going to have as many drivers on the road as we can on Thursday."

Meanwhile, Valley News Live reports that several locals have been approved to drive for the service and will be ready for the debut.

The station says it's a longtime coming, with Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney having recently called for an alternative to taxi cabs to serve the expanding community.

Fargo is the first city in North Dakota to host the service.

The launch comes about a month after state lawmakers passed a bill regulating ride-sharing services.

Reminiscent of a recent legislative fight in Minnesota, early versions of the bill would have imposed tough auto insurance rules on companies like Uber.

But, as the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal notes, Uber "seems to be happy" with the bill lawmakers finally approved last month.

The service had threatened to leave Minnesota over a similar bill earlier this year. However, after Uber struck a deal with insurance carriers that eased concerns over coverage of its drivers, state lawmakers softened the terms of the proposed legislation.

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