Regs Or No Regs? Trump Or Clinton Will Determine

Tom Halligan
Posted on October 14, 2016


Here’s the dilemma I’ve heard from operators about this year’s presidential election. On THE one hand, you have the industry fighting tooth and nail to force the TNCs to comply with long-standing private transportation rules and regulations. On the other, you have operators complaining about burdensome regulations that cost them time and money — from the federal, state, and local level.

Donald Trump told Fortune magazine that up to 70% of federal regulations could be eliminated (that was quickly reversed by one of his advisors who said it was more like 10%). Still, Trump has pledged to cut regulations, which means Uber and Lyft are praying for a Trump victory so no federal actions can be taken against them on issues such as workers’ rights issues.

Further, a Trump victory would cause ripple effects down the food chain to state and local legislatures that could pass more TNC-friendly legislation.  So it comes down to this: A Clinton win would maintain existing — or more — regulations, but fight the TNCs on the workers’ rights issue. Or, Trump reduces regulations, but allows the TNCs to treat workers however they want, or maybe even reduce federal transportation rules and regulations.

They say all politics is local. Here’s an example of the dilemma the Philadelphia Regional Limousine Association (PRLA) is dealing with. On Oct. 17, PRLA members are being mustered to Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania state capital for a Day on the Hill to educate  representatives on proposed ride share bills circulating in the Senate and the House of Representatives. Their goal is to make sure the TNCs comply with existing private transportation regulations. (If you are a Pennsylvania operator and want to participate, contact the PRLA for more information).

On the flip side, the PRLA is furious over a new Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) annual assessment that doubles the fee for a limousine company vehicle operating within the confines of the city, including the airport.

Calling the hike “ridiculous,” PRLA President Steve Rhoads (Rhoads Limousine) said the new operator assessment jumps from $404 to $868 per vehicle. The PRLA has hired an attorney to advise the association on further action to challenge the 100% hike.

That’s the problem in a nutshell. Operators get hammered with costly fees and regulations one day, and then fight to have everybody comply with regulations the next.

So we'll all have to stay tuned after the election see which way the legislative wind blows. No doubt it will be interesting.

Related Topics: Donald Trump, election, Hillary Clinton, industry politics, industry regulations, Pennsylvania operators, philadelphia, Philadelphia Regional Limousine Association, state regulations, Steve Rhoads, TNCs

Comments ( 1 )
  • Chuck Cotton

     | about 2 years ago

    Clinton has said she will enforce the labor laws and the classification of contractors to be reclassified as employees. She is targeting the "gig" economy and says billions of dollars of payroll taxes will come into the US Treasury. Trump said in the first debate, "We are a nation of laws." To date, either candidate has refused to address the ridesharing issues and the media has not asked for their stand on the Uber/Lyft issue of whether the driver is an employee or independent contractor. Interestingly, Obama's confidante, David Plouffe, is Uber's Sr.VP. Plouffe spearheaded Obama's first campaign and fiercely destroyed Hillary. Now, he endorses Clinton and will influence her to back off employment regulation for Uber if she gets elected. The hook to this is Obama recently appointed him to the Obama Foundation Board of Directors. Obviously, Obama's tentacles will remain deep in Clinton. Trump has been quite so far on the Uber issue but probably will deregulate the ground surface transportation industry as we know it. So who really knows in this crazy election but Uber, reportedly, already has six major Washington lobby firms on retainer for deregulating us. It gets wackier by the day.

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