Lawmaker looks to regulate ride-share companies - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lawmaker looks to regulate ride-share companies

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Lawmakers are looking to regulate ride-share programs (WFSB) Lawmakers are looking to regulate ride-share programs (WFSB)

State leaders are considering changing the way two transportation giants do business in Connecticut.  

At this point, most people know how to hail a car with Uber or Lyft. It’s just a tap a few buttons on the phone and you're ready to ride.  

However, the companies are not regulated in Connecticut, but that could soon change.

Salman Khan feeds his family one ride at a time. He loves being a cab driver but says ride-share companies have made more difficult to make a living at it.

“Since Uber's been here, we've been losing jobs a lot,” Khan said.

His biggest complaint with ride-share companies is right now they are unregulated in Connecticut so he feels like it's an uneven playing field.

“It's just not fair that we're paying and they're not paying,” Khan said.

State Rep. Sean Scanlon agrees, and his proposed law would do something about it by requiring Uber and Lyft to be regulated by the state.  

He's glad it would help cab drivers but says it’s really all about protecting consumers.

“It makes sure that they go through background checks that their vehicles are being inspected that they have the proper insurance coverage. To make sure that when a Connecticut resident gets into an Uber or a Lyft that they're taken care of,” Scanlon (D-Guilford) said.

Scanlon said the bill has bipartisan support and after two years of push back, Uber and Lyft have agreed to go along for the ride.

“We've come a long way working with them and we think it's to a point that they understand that we're not trying to dissuade anyone from using Uber and Lyft, we just want to make sure they're safe when they're doing,” Scanlon said.

Khan said he admits he's biased, but says if the bill is rejected it would be a defeat for cabbies and consumers.

“I feel it would be unsafe for the customers because you don't know if the driver has a good background it's regulated, it's just fair,” Khan said.

The bill could also protect your wallet as it would ensure the companies couldn't ever surge their prices by more than 250 percent.  

On Thursday, the bill passed the House of Representatives and now goes to the State Senate for a vote.

Uber released a statement on Thursday saying "We thank the Connecticut House of Representatives for today passing ridesharing legislation that is the product of years of negotiations between the legislature and a diverse array of stakeholders. It will ensure that Connecticut riders retain access to safe, affordable and reliable transportation and drivers continue to be afforded flexible economic opportunities. Under the bipartisan leadership of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, and with cooperation from the Governor's office, today's measure is a piece of legislation that supports the innovations that ridesharing has brought to Connecticut. We hope the Senate passes this important measure, and we look forward to continuing to work with the committee.”

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