Local Ordinances Pre-empted by Bill Regulating Transportation Network Companies

The bill, initiated by the ride-sharing service Lyft, provides broad statewide regulations and oversight pertaining to transportation network companies, and invalidates more stringent regulations already in place in some cities.
(Published Mar 12, 2018)

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A bill advancing in the Minnesota House would establish statewide regulations for ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

HF 3032, authored by Rep. Sandy Layman (R-Cohasset), creates a loose regulatory structure that would replace ordinances and requirements already set by several municipalities to regulate transportation network companies, or TNCs (the statutory term for ride-share services).

It includes regulations covering state agency licensure and annual fee setting, fare and payment standards, minimum driver qualifications, standards for obtaining and providing rides, inspection of vehicles used in the service, mandated TNC policies on intoxicating substance and nondiscrimination, data practices and records retention, and local pre-emption.

League opposes bill
The League testified in opposition to the bill in the House Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee on March 6. The League’s opposition is based on its core principle of defending local decision-making authority, as well as on concerns about consumer protection and public safety implications of diluting oversight of TNCs.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce, the agency the bill directs to oversee statewide regulations specified in the bill, also testified against the bill, saying the agency is not equipped to absorb this mandate. Other opponents at the March 6 hearing included advocates for people with disabilities and representatives of the taxicab industry.

Bill advances
In spite of the broad opposition, the bill advanced out of the Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee to the House Civil Law and Data Practices Policy Committee, where it is scheduled for a hearing on March 13.

The Senate companion, SF 2704, authored by Sen. John Jasinski (R-Faribault), has not yet been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Finance and Policy Committee.

Your help needed
The League is working to identify city officials who are willing to help us respond to this legislation. If you are interested in becoming involved in advocacy efforts on this issue, please contact Anne Finn at (651) 281-1263 or afinn@lmc.org.

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