April 28, 2015


The Honorable Scott Walker

Governor of Wisconsin

115 East Capitol

Madison, WI 53702


Dear Governor Walker,


As legislators representing Dane County, we write today to urge you to veto AB 143/SB 106, the bill recently passed by the Legislature allowing transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft, to operate statewide with minimal state oversight and no local oversight.


This letter is prompted by two incidents that occurred in Madison early in the morning on Saturday, April 25, and Sunday, April 26. The Madison Police Department received two separate reports from women indicating inappropriate sexual contact while riding in a car hired through Uber. In the first incident, a woman told police she had been touched inappropriately by the driver of an Uber car. The second incident involved a woman who reported that an Uber driver tried to kiss her, then attempted to contact her by phone and text message.


According to the first police incident report, a 23-year-old Madison woman reported being touched inappropriately by an Uber driver. The incident report states, “She said the driver asked her to sit in the front of the car. He then touched her leg and arm several times while telling her that he liked her, and that he was going to take her someplace other than her apartment.” The woman also reported to police that the driver initially refused to let her out of the vehicle, though she was eventually able to leave. The report indicates that she was left with two bruises on her leg.


The second police incident report indicates, “A 26 year old Madison woman reported she utilized Uber services to get a ride from downtown to the West side.  After the ride was complete, she stated the driver reached into the back seat taking her hand and kissed it, then while still grasping her hand pulled her closer and attempted to kiss the female.  The female fled the vehicle, but then received text messages and phone calls from the driver with more unwanted contact.”


Perhaps most disturbing is Uber’s response after police were contacted. The victim in the first incident was able to provide the investigating officer with an Uber receipt, which did not completely identify the name of the driver. When the police contacted Uber to obtain information about the driver, Uber refused to provide this information without a warrant or subpoena.


Had this incident occurred in a licensed taxicab, driver information would have been immediately available, as all drivers must be licensed individually and records are checked and maintained by the local police department. Identifying information and a license number would have been available in the vehicle, as required by law. Unfortunately, the bill coming to your desk does not contain any mechanisms for licensing TNC drivers and does not allow local units of government to put such requirements in place.


Prior to passage of the bill, a letter of concern from Rape Crisis Center was shared during the Assembly debate. Unfortunately, the concerns shared by victim advocates are bearing out in our community. We are not alone in facing this problem, as similar news reports have been shared in Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and numerous other cities throughout the country.


We urge you to veto AB 143/SB 106 and insist that any bill regulating transportation network companies allow local municipalities to govern the licensing of drivers. It is unconscionable to allow a bill with arguably the most lax safety regulations in the country for TNCs to become law in Wisconsin, especially in the face of this recent incident and Uber’s lack of cooperation with the Madison Police Department investigating this sexual assault.




Lisa Subeck

State Representative

78th Assembly District

Chris Taylor               

State Representative

76th Assembly District

Terese Berceau           

State Representative

77th Assembly District


Melissa Sargent          

State Representative

48th Assembly District


Dianne Hesselbein

State Representative

79th Assembly District


Sondy Pope

State Representative

80th Assembly District


Andy Jorgensen

State Representative

43rd Assembly District


Dave Considine

State Representative

81st Assembly District


Robb Kahl                  

State Representative

47th Assembly District


Gary Hebl      

State Representative

46th Assembly District


Fred Risser

State Senator

26th Senate District