Uber, Lyft regulations measure sails through Senate

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DENVER — A proposal to lightly regulate the increasingly popular transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft sailed through the state senate Monday.

Lawmakers approved Senate Bill 125 on a 29-6 vote, sending the measure on to the House for consideration.

The companies themselves, currently subject to no regulation by the state, are broadly supportive of the legislation, while more traditional taxi and limousine companies are upset the regulations aren’t nearly as thorough as what they’re subject to.

Under the proposal, TNCs will be forced to carry insurance policies that apply to both the rider and the driver, to conduct criminal background checks on the driver and not hire drivers who have been convicted of fraud, sex offenses, use of a motor vehicle to commit a felony, a crime involving property damage, and/or theft, acts of violence, and other crimes.

Additionally, companies will be forced to scrutinize a driver’s history and weed out those who have gotten a DUI in the past seen years; and vehicles will be subject to safety inspections.

“This is an enterprising business model that embraces technology as a way to serve Coloradans,” said Sen. Cheri Jahn, D-Wheat Ridge, one of the bill’s sponsors. “We need to ensure Transportation Networking Companies can thrive in a safe, sustainable, and fair way in Colorado. This is about providing transportation options that are affordable, dependable, and convenient.”

The legislation would exempt TNCs from many of he PUC regulations that traditional cabs are subject to, including “regulation of rates, entry, operational requirements, and general requirements governing common carriers.”

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