At the request of one of my 20 Group peers I recently signed the National Limousine Association’s RideResponsibly pledge.
The Ride Responsibly™ campaign is an initiative to bridge the gap between the rights of passengers and the responsibilities of service providers.
Ride Responsibly™ will establish best safety practices for prearranged car services and transportation network companies (TNCs). I also joined Advocates for Fairness in Transportation, an ad hoc group of regulated service companies dedicated to informing and educating the public on threats to public safety from TNCs.
More talk about TNCs
States and locales across the U.S. are continuing to have heated discussions about how – or even whether – to allow transportation network companies Uber, Lyft and Sidecar to operate in their jurisdictions.
How to regulate them plagues lawmakers, who are puzzled by a business model that is different from that of traditional taxi and limousine companies. As a result, TNCs – inaccurately referred to as “ride sharing” service – have been allowed to operate without the licensing requirements, commercial liability insurance, criminal background checks and drug testing for drivers, federal independent contractor rules, vehicle permitting and other regulations to which the taxi and limousine companies must adhere.
In California, TNC proponents have been clamoring to allow the service at Los Angeles International Airport.
Martin Romjue, editor of industry publication LCT Magazine, listed a series of standard industry practices that TNC’s should be required to follow before they are allowed access there.
Government regulators have many choices at their disposal, Romjue opined. They could “re-regulate, de-regulate, co-regulate, or modify. They could streamline permitting and processing across state, local or airport jurisdictions. They could ramp up enforcement against illegal operators.” TNCs should be subject to comparable standards, he added.
TNCs in Connecticut
Here in Connecticut, legislators have been grappling with similar issues.
Taxi and car service operators, including Teddy’s Transportation System, have presented comprehensive testimony about the standards that should be required for TNCs to operate in our state. We are concerned, not only about leveling the playing field, but also about ensuring passenger safety.
As of this writing a bill that offers essentially no protection to the traveling public has been passed out of the joint Transportation Committee. Uber and other TNCs would be allowed to skirt regulations in place for years, many of them safety-related, to which our industry is subject.
It is our recommendation that this bill be voted down if and when it comes on the floor of the state legislature.
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