Long awaited ride-sharing bill passes key committee vote

HARRISBURG, May 4 – After several years of hearings and meetings, state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today voted for bipartisan legislation at a House Consumer Affairs Committee meeting that would regulate transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft, and allow them to operate in Philadelphia.

Senate Bill 984, which was reported out of the committee with a 23-2 vote, would give companies like Uber and Lyft the authority to operate permanently within the state. Currently, transportation network companies operating in the state have been doing so under temporary authority granted by the Public Utility Commission.

Matzie initially had concerns about background check and insurance requirements for the ride-sharing companies, both of which were addressed at the hearing. 

“In order to protect consumers, sufficient insurance requirements are vital. No one in Pennsylvania should have to worry about what could happen if a vehicle they are riding in as a passenger has an accident, regardless if it is a Lyft, Uber or traditional cab,” Matzie said.

While the background check issue has been resolved, Matzie said he still remains concerned that the bill’s insurance requirements for ride-sharing companies doesn’t extend to those operating in Philadelphia. 

“Companies like Uber and Lyft use technology to revolutionize the market, but that doesn’t exempt them from the need to protect drivers. While I remain concerned about the insurance issue, especially in Philadelphia, I didn’t want to prevent the bill from going to the full House for consideration,” Matzie said. “I am optimistic that my concerns can be eased or addressed before it goes to a final vote.”

The legislation moves to consideration by the full House of Representatives.