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Uber ceases operations in Kansas amid stricter rules

The ride-sharing service pulled out after lawmakers overrode the veto on the bill requiring drivers carry more insurance and submit to state background checks.

Uber pulled out of Kansas in response to tighter regulations. Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Uber abruptly ceased operations in Kansas on Tuesday after state lawmakers overrode the governor's veto on legislation that imposes stricter regulations on Uber and other ride-sharing services.

Uber said it made the decision after the Kansas Senate voted 96-25 to overturn Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of the Kansas Transportation Network Company Services Act. The bill requires that drivers have comprehensive and collision insurance on cars subject to liens and undergo background checks with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

The bill "makes it impossible for Uber to operate in the state," Uber said in a blog post. The company said it ceased operations in the state on Tuesday afternoon local time by disabling its app.

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 260 cities in 54 countries and securing a valuation of $41.2 billion.

But Uber and other ride-sharing companies such as Lyft have run into roadblocks from government regulators and taxi commissions, which argue that on-demand ride services don't adhere to the same regulations as traditional taxis. Uber requires drivers to have background checks, $1 million in insurance and inspections, but safety concerns have been heightened by recent incidents, including alleged attacks on passengers by Uber drivers and the death of a 6-year-old girl who was struck and killed in San Francisco on New Year's Eve 2013.

Uber suspended operations in Nevada in November after a preliminary injunction was granted at the request of the Nevada Transportation Authority, which argued that passenger safety could be put at risk by the service's unregulated model. Uber vowed to resume operations in Nevada when it found a legal way to do so but has yet to return to Nevada's streets.

In December, the company agreed to suspend operations in Portland, Oregon for three months while city officials revised rules governing taxis and the use of ride-sharing apps. Uber resumed service in the city last month after the city council approved regulations that require ride-sharing drivers to obtain a business license and provide access to disabled riders.