11/24/15 - Senate Bill 984 (Transportation Network Companies)

Senator Camera Bartlotta speaks in support of Senate Bill 984, legislation that would regulate Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), such as Uber and Lyft, throughout Pennsylvania. TNCs provide an alternative to traditional taxi service through a smart phone application that connects drivers with passengers in a manner that is safe, efficient, and popular.

Uber and Lyft presently operate in Pennsylvania (excluding Philadelphia) under temporary authority granted by the Public Utility Commission (PUC). My legislation makes this authority permanent and provides for rules that will allow TNC services to operate consistently throughout the Commonwealth, including in the City of Philadelphia.

This bill will establish the conditions, requirements, and the regulatory framework for the operation of TNCs. It will also include a number of driver and consumer protections such as primary TNC insurance coverage from the time a driver is available to accept rides to the time in which the passenger reaches his or her destination. TNCs will be required to conduct criminal background checks on their drivers and institute zero tolerance policies with respect to drug or alcohol use.

TNCs have changed the manner in which many people travel in urban and suburban areas in this state. The PUC has granted TNCs temporary authority to operate under the "Experimental Use" permit, but a permanent solution is still needed to ensure the safety of TNCs drivers, their passengers, and the public at large.