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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 15, 2014 11:22 AM
From: Senator Wayne D. Fontana
To: All Senate members
Subject: Regulating Transportation Network Services in Pennsylvania
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce legislation that would allow Transportation Network Services like Lyft and Uber to operate in the Commonwealth. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) would be charged with regulation and oversight of the operations.

Transportation Network Services, also known as “ridesharing,” enlists drivers to use their personal vehicles to offer services similar to taxis. Drivers and riders are connected only via smartphone apps and then drivers are reimbursed for these services with a “suggested donation” from passengers. Lyft and Uber are currently operating in dozens of cities across the United States as well as several other countries.

Last year, ridesharing services in the Pittsburgh region were slapped with hundreds of thousands in fines because these drivers cannot operate without a Certificate of Public Convenience. More recently, Lyft was granted the ability to operate in Allegheny County under temporary authority from the PUC. In November, the PUC approved an experimental license for Uber to operate across Pennsylvania except in Philadelphia, where the Philadelphia Parking Authority regulates taxi services, as well as nine other counties including Beaver, Lawrence Mercer and several counties near Philadelphia – because Uber’s application specifically excludes those jurisdictions. Lyft’s application for experimental license is likely to be decided by the PUC sometime in December.

Over the past year, I have met with various stakeholders to address issues regarding insurance coverage and other consumer protections which will be included in the new version. However, my legislation would be similar to SB 1457 of 2013-14 in that it will provide for the proper permit as well as appropriate insurance coverage so that Pennsylvania residents and visitors have another transportation option that is safe, reliable and affordable.

Co sponsors from the 2013-14 session included Brewster, Wozniak, Vance, Smith, Blake, Costa, Vulakovich and Yudichak. I hope you will consider joining me by co sponsoring this legislation. If you have additional questions about this bill, please contact Brittany Mekilo at bmekilo@pasenate.com.

Introduced as SB447