Will Introduce Legislation To Provide Safety Standards, Consumer Protections for Transportation Network Companies
Senator Paul Sarlo and Senator Joe Kyrillos announced legislation that will establish statewide standards for the burgeoning ride-sharing business, or transportation network companies, such as Uber, Lyft and Gett in order to provide safety standards and consumer protections. The bipartisan bill will be introduced in the Senate on Monday, May 9th.
“These Transportation Network Companies that provide a digital platform to connect riders with drivers often cross municipal and county boundaries so the best way to allow them to provide services and protect customers is with statewide standards,” said Senator Kyrillos. “These companies have already become an extremely important part of our transit system, addressing a real need for people, creating jobs and motivating the economy.”
— Senator Joe Kyrillos (@joekyrillos) May 6, 2016
“The rapid growth in the use of ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft has created confusion and concern for local government and the state on regulatory standards,” said Senator Sarlo. “A state standard will bring consistency and uniformity to promote safety and provide consumer protections for companies that partner drivers and passengers.”
TNCs are companies that use a digital network to connect drivers and riders.
An estimated 20,000 drivers in New Jersey have already been active in working for Uber and Lyft alone, and the number of participants continues to grow, Senator Sarlo and Kyrillos said.
Senator Sarlo referred to the recent agreement between Hackensack University Medical Center and Uber to provide transportation from the hospital for patients and their families as an example of the type of service the TNCs can provide to meet unique needs. Senator Sarlo referred also to the recent agreement between Uber and the City of Newark, which includes background checks in line with his legislative proposal, as another “productive mark of progress.”
“TNCs are part of the new economy and they can provide the opportunity for jobs and extra income to New Jersey residents,” said Senator Sarlo. “At the same time, these services need to be regulated to ensure safety and consumer protections.”
Part of the statewide standards will be background checks of the drivers by the State Police and a requirement that the TNC driver has $1.5 million in liability coverage, Senator Kyrillos said.
The proposed legislation, to be entitled the Transportation Network Company Safety and Regulatory Act, will authorize both the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and the Division of Consumer Affairs to inspect company records to ensure compliance with the law.