The Leaflet: Ride-sharing Regulations Are Still an Issue for States

Published August 28, 2014

Ride-sharing Regulations Are Still an Issue for States

On Monday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn vetoed a bill that would have established onerous statewide regulations on ride-sharing services that compete with taxis such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar. Uber said the regulations were “intended to limit competition and protect the profits of taxi company owners.”

Chris Taylor, general manager of Uber’s Chicago branch, said the regulations, “would have done nothing to improve the safety of Illinois’ streets and would have limited the growth of transportation alternatives across the state.”

While consumer support for ridesharing increases, state and local lawmakers are facing pressure from traditional taxicab workers to establish damaging regulations on ride-sharing. Some cities have already enacted regulations, including Seattle, which now confines each ride-sharing companies to 150 vehicles, and San Francisco, which limits Lyft and Uber drivers from taking passengers to the airport unless they have permits. Colorado became the first state to enact legislation regulating the ride-sharing industry, and Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles issued a “cease and desist” order on ride-sharing companies. Other cities, including New Orleans, Portland, and Miami have banned ride-sharing entirely.

Companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar do not own any vehicles or employ drivers; they have instead developed smartphone applications that allow consumers to access on-demand driver services. Demand for ride-sharing has been thriving in large part because it offers customers an alternative to the costly taxicab industry.

Ride-sharing companies give drivers — many of them small businessmen — jobs and an efficient way to do business. If lawmakers want their state to be economically profitable and flourishing, they should welcome ride-share companies and not deter them from coming into their states with burdensome regulations.



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