Legislation Would Allow Ride Sharing Companies
The Nebraska Legislature is considering three bills to govern companies that provide mobile applications to match riders needing and drivers providing rides, such as Lyft and Uber. The pending legislation defines these companies as “transportation network companies” or “TNCs.” The three bills are LB 629, LB 488 and LB 399.
Senator Heath Mello of Omaha introduced LB 629, which proposes rules to govern TNCs. It requires TNCs to obtain a permit from the Nebraska Public Service Commission and provides the application and disclosure requirements with which a TNC must comply to maintain a permit. It provides training, background check, and anti-drug and alcohol requirements applicable to TNC drivers. This bill provides the method by which a TNC matches a driver with a passenger and the disclosures a TNC must provide a passenger upon completion of a ride. LB 629 also contains safety requirements for the vehicles TNCs allow their drivers to use and requires an annual inspection of each vehicle.
LB 488, from Senator Jim Scheer of Norfolk, proposes insurance requirements for TNCs. This bill requires insurance coverage of at least $500,000 when a passenger engages a TNC driver to provide a ride. It also requires lower insurance coverage when a TNC driver is available to provide a ride but has not accepted a ride request. In addition, this bill requires TNCs to make certain disclosures to their drivers about the effect driving for the TNC may have on the driver’s personal insurance policy, requires TNCs to cooperate in investigations of insurance claims, and obligates TNC drivers to maintain proof of the insurance required under LB 488.
LB 399, by Senator Jim Smith of Papillion, would place TNCs under the jurisdiction of the Nebraska Public Service Commission. The bill would also require the Nebraska Public Service Commission to adopt rules and reasonable requirements to govern TNCs. If LB 629 moves forward, LB 399 would not.
The Legislature’s Transportation and Telecommunications Committee held a hearing on LBs 399 and 629 on March 2, 2015 at which the insurance industry sought greater insurance requirements for TNCs, and the TNC advocates promised to continue working with the industry to try to find a compromise. The Legislature’s Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee will hear LB 488 on March 9, 2015.
Read these three bills here: LB 629, LB 488, and LB 399. We will continue to monitor the progress of these bills, along with other bills of interest, and send updates when additional information becomes available.