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California establishes ridesharing rules, including background checks

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Ride Hailing Apps

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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California establishes ridesharing rules, including background checks originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Fri, 20 Sep 2013 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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