|Posted:||January 28, 2015 11:35 AM|
|From:||Senator Randy Vulakovich|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Taxi Modernization & Taxi Transportation Network Company Authorization|
|In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation to legalize Taxi Transportation Network Companies and to modernize the existing taxi and limousine regulatory scheme to reflect the increasingly competitive nature of the Commonwealth’s transportation service industry.
Last year, several bills were introduced in both the Senate and House to regulate Transportation Network Companies like Lyft and Uber. Even though the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission recently approved an Order to permit Lyft and Uber to legally operate for a two-year time period if certain conditions are met, the PUC has asked the General Assembly to update state law by establishing the legal framework that all Transportation Network Companies would need to comply with in order to operate legally in the Commonwealth.
I acknowledge that there is a need to update Pennsylvania law to accommodate the entrance of Transportation Network Companies like Lyft and Uber as long as the consumers of this Commonwealth are protected. However, pursuing legislative remedies cannot occur in a vacuum. Just as companies such as Lyft and Uber claim that their business model does not conform to the current regulatory framework for taxis and limousines operating in PA, it is important to note that Lyft and Uber’s ideal regulatory framework will not allow a taxi company to operate their own Transportation Network Company. Furthermore, it would be unfair to provide Transportation Network Companies with reduced regulatory relief while at the same time holding existing taxi and limousine operators to a much higher and outdated regulatory threshold.
While I understand that Lyft and Uber are here to stay, I also believe that the hundreds of Pennsylvania based taxi and limousine companies that have followed the law and played by the rules created by the Commonwealth throughout the years should at least be provided an opportunity to compete with Lyft and Uber on a level playing field.
Should you have any questions, please contact Charlie O'Neill in my office at 717-787-6538.
Introduced as SB749