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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

 6:04 PM 

Rideshare bill clears Assembly

A bill that would create a statewide license for rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft passed the Assembly, 79-19.

Under the bill, a transportation network company can purchase a license to operate in the state. The state Department of Safety and Professional Services would oversee the licensing.

Drivers for the companies are not employees but instead pay the company a fee to be a part of the digital network. The state would not license the driver.

The companies are similar to taxis except drivers hail the rides through cellphone apps and cannot pay cash for the service. The drivers, under the bill, would not be classified in the same way as cab drivers.

Some Assembly Dems sought more regulations, such as vehicle inspections, to ensure consumer protection and put those drivers more in line with cab operators.

"This is just basic stuff," said Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison. "It's not that hard."

The bill would require background checks on drivers and insurance coverage.

Bill author Tyler August, R-Lake Geneva, said he has worked on the legislation for a year, and it is a response to the market.

"I think the biggest thing we need to remember is these companies aren't going anywhere," he said.


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