Minneapolis ponders rules for app-based transportation companies

  • Updated: April 19, 2014 - 7:03 PM
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The pink mustache on the grille is the sign of a Lyft vehicle in service.

Photo: Colin Covert, Star Tribune

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Minneapolis City Council Member Jacob Frey’s office has released a final draft of proposed regulations for app-based transportation companies such as 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 accept only prearranged trips, whereas taxis can pick up random passengers on the street.

ERIC ROPER

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