• Sep 20th 2013 at 3:45PM
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It is a time for new rules. On top of the EPA's proposed regulations for coal power plants, there are reports out of California that the ridesharing industry will need to sit down and digest a new 76-page rule document. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved ridesharing regulations that will codify the emerging peer-to-peer transportation networks in the state, Techcrunch reports.

"Today was a milestone that paved the way for our generation's peer economy"

Last year, things looked a lot different, with the CPUC sending Lyft a cease-and-desist letter. Following the new regulations, Lyft co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green wrote on their company blog to thank their supporters and to say that, "We'll now be able to look back in 10 years knowing that today was a milestone that paved the way for our generation's peer economy."

The new rules, which affect not only Lyft but also other ridesharing companies like SideCar, InstantCab and Uber, are focused on safety. The CPUC used to refer to these companies as "New Online-Enabled Transportation Services" (NOETS) but has now changed the acronym to TNC, for "Transportation Network Company." California TNC's now need to get a license from the CPUC and conduct a criminal background check on each driver. TNC's also need to establish a driver training program and have a big 'ole commercial liability insurance policy. Oh, and drunk stoners need not apply to be drivers. The CPUC's press release and 76-page decision document is embedded below.

The time is right to put some order in the (potential) chaos. While major automakers and independent start-ups are offering a lot of carsharing options – from BMW with DriveNow to Daimler with Car2go to Zipcar - the rideshare universe has been a lot less organized. But it does have more pink mustaches.
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CPUC ESTABLISHES RULES FOR TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 19, 2013 -- The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today took action to ensure that public safety is not compromised by the operation of transportation services that use an online-enabled platform to connect passengers with drivers who use their personal, non-commercial vehicles.

The CPUC determined that companies such as Lyft, SideCar, and UberX are charter party passenger carriers subject to CPUC jurisdiction. The CPUC created the category of Transportation Network Company (TNC) to apply to companies that provide prearranged transportation services for compensation using an online-enabled application (app) or platform to connect passengers with drivers using their personal vehicles.

The CPUC established 28 rules and regulations for TNCs. The rules include the requirements that TNCs must:
  • Obtain a license from the CPUC to operate in California;
  • Require each driver to undergo a criminal background check;
  • Establish a driver training program;
  • Implement a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol;
  • Hold a commercial liability insurance policy that is more stringent than the CPUC's current requirement for limousines, requiring a minimum of $1 million per-incident coverage for incidents involving TNC vehicles and drivers in transit to or during a TNC trip, regardless of whether personal insurance allows for coverage; and,
  • Conduct a 19-point car inspection.
A second phase of this proceeding will review the CPUC's existing regulations over limousines and other charter party carriers to ensure that public safety rules are up to date and responsive to the needs of today's transportation market.

"The CPUC is at the forefront of leadership in crafting new safety based regulations for a rapidly emerging industry," said CPUC President Michael R. Peevey, the lead Commissioner for this proceeding. "The rules we created today allow Transportation Network Companies to compete with more traditional forms of transportation and for both drivers and consumers to have greater choice within the transportation industry."

"Our decision emphasizes safety as a primary objective, while fostering the development of this nascent industry," said Commissioner Mark J. Ferron. "We have specified our expectations for the attributes of insurance. Now the insurance market will determine the best approach to ensure that there is coverage for passengers, drivers, and third-parties at all times while these vehicles are operating on a commercial basis."

The proposal voted on is available at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M077/K112/77112285.PDF

For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.

CPUC Ridesharing



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 42 Comments
      yonomo200
      • 1 Year Ago
      No, RJC. He's actually in NYC. But he suffers from severe conservatarditis. California is an incredibly beautiful state. It's no wonder why someone would want to go back there after leaving. Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but I left mine in San Diego.
      yonomo200
      • 1 Year Ago
      You're an idiot.
      alex
      • 1 Year Ago
      my mom in law recently got Ford Shelby GT500 Coupe only from working off a pc at home... useful reference .........WWW.YAD7.COM
      edward.stallings
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wonder if there will be a rule about hair grease on the headrest. Or lice and bedbug inspection. As appealing as mass transit...
      RJC
      • 1 Year Ago
      Don't need no stinking regulations. I have no problem with a convicted DUI , non licensed driver. That there is an outstanding citizen. Yes, the sarcasm just ended.
      Skicat
      • 1 Year Ago
      My brother rideshares from the east bay to SF. Gets a free ride in a Benz, BMW, Audi or Jag everyday so the driver can use the HOV lane. He gets to leave the Mazda5 in the driveway and they save $$$$ as a one-car family.
      yonomo200
      • 1 Year Ago
      I like how that Honda has a mustache just like the fat welfare chicks who drive them.
      scott3
      • 1 Year Ago
      It is no wonder every one is leaving California. I just love how all there regulations have driven many companies elsewhere. You would think California would catch on that there economy moved to Texas. All I hear is from my customers in California on how they love the climate but they are about ready to punch out to else where.
        Alex740
        • 1 Year Ago
        @scott3
        If you think everyone is leaving California and those that are here only stay for the weather you know nothing about California or it's economies.
        lasertekk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @scott3
        Strange. Engineer friends of mine who have moved to Texas can't wait to get back.
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Year Ago
        @scott3
        It is not necessary for one state's success to be linked to some other state's failure. Both States are doing fine. For positive GDP growth Texas is #2 and California is #6. They are both way ahead of most other states.
      RJC
      • 1 Year Ago
      What's up raz, you one of those angry fly-over state boys jealous of our lifestyle?
      Quen47
      • 1 Year Ago
      And you didn't even mention Apple. Now Car Guy, tell us about all the great innovation coming out of low tax red-state low tax havens like Wyoming or Mississippi or West Virginia. New ways to deep fry a Twinkie don't count.
      lasertekk
      • 1 Year Ago
      And Coherent. The worlds largest LASER manufacturer, is also in California.
      lasertekk
      • 1 Year Ago
      See my post below regarding Coherent. Yeah, I imagined the design skills of those engineers...it must have been a figment of my imagination. Same thing with the research notes I've analyzed. I must have made those up as well.
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