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Bill allowing Uber, Lyft to operate in Virginia passes House committee

state-capitol2Legislation that allows transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft to be licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles passed out of the Transportation Committee Tuesday. The measure will be taken up by the full House later this week.

Speaking about the legislation, its patron, Del. Tom Rust (R-Herndon) said, “Innovative companies like Uber and Lyft have seen explosive growth around the nation, and this legislation establishes guidelines for them, and other ride-sharing services, to operate in Virginia. They use modern technology to more efficiently get people where they need to go. This bill takes into account safety and liability concerns, requiring background checks on all drivers and requiring drivers to be covered by a specific liability insurance policy. This legislation will give companies a framework to safely meet the demand for their services and to create jobs in Virginia. I hope this measure will find broad bipartisan support when it is taken up by the House later this week.”

“Companies like Uber and Lyft are game changers, and this legislation will help Virginia law keep up with rapid changes in technology that give citizens more transportation options,” said Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax), chief co-patron of the legislation. “The bill coming out of the Transportation committee today strikes the right balance between safety and accountability for the companies and meeting the transportation needs of Virginians. I welcome these pioneering new companies to the Commonwealth.”

Background on House Bill 1662 (Rust): The bill requires transportation network companies (TNCs) to screen drivers (TNC partners), ensure that all drivers are at least 21 years old and properly licensed to drive, and conduct background checks on all drivers including criminal background, driving history, and status on the sex offender registry.

The bill also requires that TNC partner vehicles be titled and registered personal vehicles; be insured; have a maximum seating capacity of no more than seven persons, excluding the driver; be registered with DMV for TNC use; and display TNC and DMV identification markers. The bill further requires that TNC drivers be covered by a specific liability insurance policy. The bill also imposes several other operational requirements, including requirements that the TNC provide a credential to the driver and disclose information about the TNC partner and TNC policies to passengers, and specifies the nature and limits of the insurance coverage.

The bill authorizes DMV to conduct periodic reviews of the TNC to confirm compliance and authorizes fees on the TNCs to cover DMV’s costs of administering the program.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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Augusta Free Press