Senate Panel Approves Bartolotta’s Bill Authorizing Transportation Network Companies

HARRISBURG – Transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft could operate safely in every county in Pennsylvania under a bill sponsored by Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46) and approved by the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee today.

Senate Bill 984 would establish a regulatory framework for the operation of transportation network companies throughout Pennsylvania. These companies are currently permitted to operate in some, but not all Pennsylvania counties and municipalities under a two-year temporary authority granted by the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

Bartolotta said the bill would help balance the need to support innovation with the need to ensure consumers are protected.

“It is extremely important for state laws to keep pace with the rate of modernization, but that innovation cannot come at the expense of consumer safety,” Bartolotta said. “Transportation network companies hold the potential to fulfill a number of transportation needs and provide new options for consumers. We just need to make sure they are capable of operating responsibly and safely.”

The bill would ensure transportation network companies and drivers meet key requirements, such as maintaining proper insurance coverage, meeting vehicle safety requirements and reporting accidents. In addition, the bill would implement a zero tolerance policy on the use of drugs or alcohol for a driver using the digital network and prevents individuals convicted of certain crimes, including burglary, robbery and sexual offenses, from offering rideshare services.

“There is clearly a role for transportation network companies to play in meeting the needs of the community, particularly in terms of providing a convenient and affordable option to prevent drunk driving,” Bartolotta said. “Creating a permanent framework for these companies to operate could ultimately contribute to improved public safety for motorists and new economic opportunities for drivers.”

Along with providing a number of consumer protections, the legislation will authorize transportation network companies by the PUC in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania, including the city of Philadelphia.
CONTACT: Colleen Greer (717) 787-1463