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Proposed app-based transportation rules unveiled

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: April 18, 2014 - 1:30 PM

Council Member Jacob Frey's office has released a final draft of proposed regulations for app-based transportation companies like Lyft and UberX.

A hearing on the new rules is expected on April 29, with an initial vote slated for early May. Lyft and UberX are currently operating illegally, since existing city ordinances require them to register as taxicabs. The services allow people to sign up to essentially become chauffeurs of their own vehicles, locating passengers through a smartphone app.

The proposed ordinance specifies that so-called transportation network companies (TNC) are distinct from "rideshare," defined as carpooling and other modes of shared transportation where payment is not expected.

Unlike taxicab drivers, who must be individually licensed with the city, TNC drivers will be "endorsed" by their companies.

The primary distinction between TNCs and taxicabs is how they pick up passengers. TNCs may only accept prearranged trips, whereas taxicabs can pick up random passengers on the street.

The companies must have commercial liability insurance with limits of at least $1 million per occurrence. The policies must cover all vehicles that are "active," meaning a driver is logged into the dispatch system.

Inspections must be performed at a facility approved by the city. Vehicles must at a minimum be "rust-free and damage free" and pass an inspection of components outlined by the city.

TNC vehicles must be newer than 10 years old, whereas taxicabs must be replaced every five years.

Ten percent of taxicab fleets must be wheelchair-accessible vehicles. If a TNC company receives a request for a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, they must direct them to "licensed provider of such a service."

Finally, the number of rides requested in each zip code must be recorded by the company. The city will also require them to document any accidents, the hours and miles each driver is logging and the number of people requesting wheelchair-accessible rides.

The proposed ordinance is below. Click on the highlighted boxes to see some comparisons to taxicab regulations.

 

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