HARTFORD, CT — The Senate gave final passage Tuesday to a bill that would create a regulatory structure for ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft.
The bill was approved 28-8 by the Senate and now goes to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
Currently, Connecticut has no regulations for “Transportation Network Companies,” the term used for services like Uber and Lyft. If Malloy signs the bill, Connecticut would become the 42nd state to regulate the ridesharing industry.
“After several years of work, I believe we have come to a firm agreement for putting in place regulations to protect consumers and even the playing field between companies like Uber and Lyft and the taxicab industry,” Sen. Tim Larson, D-East Hartford, said. “This legislation is not perfect, but it’s a good start. Issues may crop up as we evaluate our regulations for Transportation Network Companies going forward, but this is a good place to begin and we can and will certainly revisit it in the future.”
But not everyone was in favor.
Sen. Michael McLachlan, R-Danbury, said “this is an Uber bill. This is not a Connecticut General Assembly bill. This is not a taxi bill.”
He said Uber dictated to the General Assembly what it wanted, and the state did what Uber wanted.
The bill requires transportation network companies to run a background check on drivers and check their driving record every three years. A person can’t be a driver if they have more than three moving violations or one or more serious traffic violations. A person also can’t be a driver if within the last seven years before applying they’ve been convicted of driving under the influence, fraud, or sexual offenses.
The driver also has to self-certify the condition of the vehicle they will be using.
They also have to cover a certain level of insurance. At least $50,000 for personal injury or death and $25,000 for property damage. While the driver is providing a ride the insurance must $1 million in coverage for personal injury, death and property damage.
Larson said he thinks the bill is a good start and vowed to come back to correct any issues.
Lyft spokesperson Scott Coriell said the bill will allow “ridesharing services like Lyft to expand in Connecticut, which will bring increased transportation options, earning potential, and economic activity to individuals and communities around the state.”
Uber also praised passage of the legislation.
“Today’s bipartisan action by the Connecticut Senate is a monumental step forward to maintaining safe, affordable, and reliable transportation for riders and flexible economic opportunities for drivers,” Uber General Manager Matthew Powers said. “Uber looks forward to continuing to work with Governor Malloy in anticipation of the signing of this important bill, which would make Connecticut the 42nd state to enact comprehensive ridesharing legislation.”