Godshall Lauds House Action on Bill to Permit TNCs to Operate Legally in PA
10/19/2016
HARRISBURG – Today, after nearly four years of discussion and negotiation between lawmakers and stakeholders, Rep. Robert Godshall (R-Montgomery) said he is pleased that the House unanimously approved legislation to permit Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), such as Uber and Lyft, to operate legally in Pennsylvania.  

“About 148,000 Pennsylvanians signed a petition pledging their support for Uber and Lyft, asking that those companies and others like them be permitted to operate legally in the Commonwealth,” said Godshall.  “We passed legislation to do that today.”

Uber and Lyft have been operating on temporary licenses while lawmakers worked to resolve a dispute involving taxi drivers in Philadelphia who were concerned they would be disenfranchised by the TNCs that were neither regulated nor have the licensing investment that taxi drivers have.

Senate Bill 984 was extensively amended and enhanced in the House Consumer Affairs Committee, of which I serve as chairman. Numerous concessions were made to ensure this was good legislation that works for all, and I am pleased that it passed unanimously.

“The legislation provides for the licensing and regulation of TNCs and requires that all drivers undergo a criminal background check and vehicles undergo safety inspections. This helps to ensure that when consumers summon a ride from a TNC, they can be reasonably assured of their safety and well-being,” Godshall said.  “The bill requires TNCs in Philadelphia to be regulated by the Philadelphia Parking Authority and all others would fall under the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
 
“Uber and Lyft fill a need for transportation services in areas across the Commonwealth that are underserved or have no taxicab service at all,” said Godshall.  “They have changed the way people travel in both urban and rural areas, and that change represents a significant improvement in our statewide public transportation system.”

Some other major components of the bill are as follows:
•    Within one year from Jan. 1, 2017, the digital network used by a TNC shall be accessible to consumers who are blind, visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing.
•    Wheelchair-accessible service is required in Philadelphia and where such service is available elsewhere in PA.
•    Additional service charges may not be imposed on individuals with disabilities.
•    Service animals accompanying passengers ride free unless the driver has a documented allergy on file with the TNC.

Senate Bill 984 now goes back to the Senate for concurrence.

Representative Bob Godshall
53rd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact:  Donna Pinkham
dpinkham@pahousegop.com
BobGodshall.com
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