BOSTON — State Representative Michael Moran (D-Brighton) and State Senator Linda Dorcena-Forry (D-Boston) have filed legislation to provide stricter oversight of so-called rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft.
“Our number one priority is to ensure the safety of passengers and Massachusetts residents who utilize ride for hire services,” said Senator Forry. “We should not lower the bar for companies entering the transportation industry and place consumers at risk. This legislation is critical to ensuring a level playing field while promoting a competitive business environment between our established taxi and livery companies and ride for hire services,” concluded Senator Forry.
“For decades taxis have been one of the most regulated industries in the state,” said Representative Moran. “These regulations have given companies like Uber and Lyft that provide the same basic services taxis a great competitive advantage. This legislation will male sure that Transportation Network Companies (TNC’s) drivers and vehicles have to follow the same public safety licensing requirements as the taxi industry. I hope this bill makes the stringent licensing requirements for the taxi industry part of the conversation when discussing the level of public safeguards on any ride for hire service.”
The bill would require that all drivers for TNC’s, such as Uber and Lyft, undergo a background check and maintain levels of insurance on an equitable basis to what is required of the taxi and livery industry. These provisions are at the heart of the debate. A lower standard on background checks creates a public safety issue for passengers. Maintaining lower levels of insurance and regulation for Uber and Lyft creates an inequity in the cost of doing business, and thus a competitive disadvantage for the taxi and livery industry.