By, Sen. Camera Bartolotta
District 46 (Beaver, Greene, and Washington Counties)
Popular new transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft, offer prearranged transportation services through the use of a digital network. The services hold the potential to help meet the transportation needs of many individuals in urban and suburban areas. The companies are currently permitted to operate in a number of Pennsylvania counties (excluding Philadelphia) under temporary authority granted by the Pennsylvania Utilities Commission (PUC). Legislation is necessary to ensure these companies are allowed to operate after the temporary authority expires.
In an effort to ensure state laws keep pace with innovation, I have sponsored legislation (SB 984) that would help establish a regulatory framework for these services to ensure they can operate safely and responsibly. My bill is designed to strike the proper balance between supporting the growth of these innovative services and the importance of ensuring consumers are protected. The bill would ensure transportation network companies and drivers meet basic requirements such as maintaining appropriate insurance coverage, meeting vehicle safety requirements and reporting accidents.
The proposal would also create a zero-tolerance policy on the use of drugs or alcohol for a driver using the digital network and prevent individuals convicted of certain crimes, including burglary, robbery and sexual offenses, from offering transportation network services. In addition to providing a number of consumer protections, the legislation will authorize transportation network companies approved by the Public Utility Commission to operate in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, including the city of Philadelphia.
People across Pennsylvania enjoy the convenience of services like Lyft and Uber; my legislation will ensure that consumers continue to have access to their services in the future.