"We could Uber there" will be a real thing in Rochester soon.
A new ordinance (which had a lot of vocal support from the community) was approved by the City Council Monday night, and would let companies like Uber operate in Minnesota's third-largest city, ABC 6 reports.
A petition asking for approval had been signed by more than 600 people, agenda documents says.
Getting to this point has been a long journey – just a few weeks ago, the City Council stayed until 4 a.m. debating one night, and a vote then ended in a 3-3 tie, MPR News reported.
I am very happy that we're stepping into the 21st century a bit here
But the measure Monday passed 6-0 after a few tweaks and a thorough reading. It has to get read and passed one more time before it's officially official, the Post Bulletin writes, but everyone seems to expect that to happen.
The arguments for and against it
Michael Wojcik, a city council member who supports bringing Uber in, said he was frustrated with the months of back-and-forth.
He was hoping to get it approved before the holiday season this year, when there's a spike in drunken driving – but that clearly won't happen now.
"I am very happy that we're stepping into the 21st century a bit here," he added.
People who argued against it were concerned about safety, and also how it'll hurt the taxi industry – cab drivers have strict regulations they need to follow. The council Monday said they'd probably have to address the imbalance soon.
Uber says it's in 539 cities across the world now. Though they'll need to update the site once they've given final approval, since Rochester isn't on there.
Rochester, with the Mayo Clinic, is quite literally a destination for people from around the globe – many of whom might expect a service like Uber to be available there.
And Mayo employs nearly 42,000 people in the state. They're the biggest employer in Minnesota.