June 7, 2017

Senate Passes Bill Ensuring Consumer Protections for Ride Sharing Companies

Following its passage in the State House of Representatives in May, the Senate Tuesday approved a bill ensuring consumer protections for ride-sharing companies operating in Connecticut.

House Bill 7126, An Act Concerning Transportation Network Companies, passed the Senate in a largely bipartisan vote of 28 to 8. The bill goes next to the desk of Governor P. Malloy for his signature.

Senator Tim Larson (D-East Hartford) led the bill’s passage in the Senate, and said the measure would provide more safety requirements and consumer protections for customers using the ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft.

“After several years of work, I believe we have come to a firm agreement for putting in place regulations to protect consumers and even the playing field between companies like Uber and Lyft and the taxicab industry,” said Sen. Larson, the Democratic Senate Chairman of the General Assembly’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee. “This legislation is not perfect, but it’s a good start. Issues may crop up as we evaluate our regulations for Transportation Network Companies going forward, but this is a good place to begin and we can and will certainly revisit it in the future.”

“I’m grateful to my colleagues in the State Senate for passing our common sense consumer protections for ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft and thank my co-chairs Senator Larson and Senator [Kevin] Kelly for their help in crafting this important measure,” said State Representative Sean Scanlon (D-Branford), the House co-chair of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee.

The bill requires transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft to carry insurance for their customers, perform background checks on drivers and pass vehicle safety checks. Regulations also apply to drivers working as contracted employees for ride-sharing companies related to past criminal convictions and zero tolerance policies on alcohol use, and limits the number of consecutive hours drivers can operate.

Additionally, the legislation eases some regulations on taxicab and livery companies.