Last week, Senators Joe Kyrillos (R-13) and Paul Sarlo (D-36) announced a bill aimed at creating statewide regulations for ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. Today, Assembly Democrats Joe Lagana (D-38), Troy Singleton (D-7) and John Wisniewski (D-19) introduced a similar bill in the assembly (A3695).
The two bills have the idea of creating statewide regulations for transportation network companies (TNCs) in mind. Both bills would require background checks, insurance policies for drivers and a number of other provisions that aim to ensure safety for users. The main difference between the two bills is that the assembly version has a fingerprinting provision.
“New Jersey has no safety and insurance standards whatsoever to govern an industry that has the potential to affect all motorists – regardless of whether or not they have a direct affiliation with a transportation network company. I admire the modernization these companies bring to transportation, but that does not excuse them from an obligation to conduct business safely,” said Lagana in a statement. “Residents of our state who take advantage of ride-hailing services must be able to do so without compromising their own well-being or that of other drivers on the road.”
The move by legislators to create statewide regulation policies follows battles cities like Newark and Elizabeth have had with ridesharing companies in order to allow operation to continue in their cities and around transit hubs like Newark Airport and Newark Penn Station. Statewide regulations would reduce patchwork ordinances that may differ from town to town.
After the introduction of Kyrillos and Sarlo’s bill last week, Lyft spokesperson Chelsea Wilson issued the following statement: “New Jersey deserves a permanent statewide ridesharing framework that provides clarity for drivers and passengers. We are pleased that a comprehensive ridesharing solution is moving through the legislative process. We look forward to continuing the public discussion about the benefits ridesharing brings to the people of New Jersey.”