THE ARGUMENT FOR REGULATING APP-BASED RIDE COMPANIES CONTINUES IN MASSACHUSSETTS
On August 5, 2016 Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts signed a law enacting more regulations for Uber, Lyft, and other Transportation Network Companies (TNCs). This makes Massachusetts the latest state to approve stronger regulations for TNCs and the first to implement a way to help aid the failing taxi industry. Under the new law, TNC drivers will undergo two stages of background checks. The first will be run by the TNCs themselves, and the second will be conducted by the state and will include a look at criminal and sex offender history. The new legislation in Massachusetts also calls for a 20-cent per ride fee that the TNCs will be responsible for. A portion of this new fee will go toward helping taxi companies who have been hurt by the new technology. This fee will not be passed along to the customers. One proposal of the law did call for fingerprinting of TNC drivers (something that taxi drivers are subject too) but it did not make the final draft of the legislation.
You can read a full article about Massachusetts’ new law here: http://www.patriotledger.com/news/20160805/governor-baker-signs-bill-regulating-uber-lyft-others
New regulations for TNC drivers and whether or not they should be fingerprinted is a nationwide topic of discussion right now, with some cities like Austin, Houston, and Chicago taking the matter into their own hands. Currently, the California Public Utilities Commission is discussing this issue and if you would like to weigh in on the matter, you can take an online survey at: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/webform.aspx?ekfrm=11394
(see the results of the survey at: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/fingerprinting/ )