Uber suspends operations in Nevada after injunction

Ride-sharing service ceases operations but vows to return when it finds a legal way to operate in the state.

Uber has shut down in Nevada in response to a temporary restraining order. Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Uber has ceased operations in Nevada after a district judge issued a restraining order against the ride-sharing service.

The San Francisco-based company, which has been operating in Nevada for about a month, said Wednesday that it was shutting down over "confusion" about its business model, but it vowed to resume operations in the state when it identified a legal way to do so.

"Beginning tonight, nearly 1,000 jobs disappeared in Nevada and those residents lost their ability to earn a living," Uber wrote in a blog post. "But, rest assured, Uber is in this for the long-term and we are committed to the people of the Silver State."

Uber uses a smartphone app to connect riders with part-time drivers of private cars, oftentimes for less than the cost of a traditional taxi or car service. The service has grown rapidly in popularity since its launch five years ago, offering rides in more than 200 cities in 45 countries and claiming to cover 55 percent of the US population with its offering. It's also the highest-valued venture-backed company in the world right now, with a valuation of $18.2 billion.

But that journey has not been without roadblocks from government regulators and taxi commissions, which argue that on-demand ride services don't adhere to the same regulations as traditional taxis. Ride-sharing apps have been hit with cease-and-desist orders in Pennsylvania and Virginia, and resistance to Uber and chief rival Lyft has also heated up in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, DC, Denver, Miami and Los Angeles.

The decision came after a Washoe County District Court on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction requested by the Nevada Transportation Authority, which argued that passenger safety could be put at risk by the service's unregulated model. Uber requires drivers to have background checks, $1 million in insurance and inspections, but safety concerns have been heightened by recent incidents, including the death of a 6-year-old girl who was struck and killed by an Uber driver on New Year's Eve in San Francisco.

An Uber petition seeking support for the service in Nevada has attracted more than 18,000 signatures. The blog post also urges Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval to support the service, which began operations in the state in October.

"It is clear that Uber has met a real need of supporting access to more transportation options, bringing accessibility to previously underserved communities," the post says. "And, we have opened doors to thousands of people looking to supplement their income or find a way to support themselves and their family. We remain committed to the tens of thousands of Nevadans who already rely daily on Uber."

The Nevada Attorney General's Office did not respond to a request for comment.

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