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Published on Friday, January 23, 2015

Feedback needed on bill regulating ride–sharing companies

Senator Cyrus Habib (D-Kirkland) has introduced SB 5550, which would provide for statewide regulation of “commercial transportation services” – defined as a company that uses a digital network or software application to connect passengers to drivers for the purpose of providing transportation. The bill establishes a regulatory structure housed in the state Department of Licensing.

The bill preempts local governments from prohibiting ride-sharing companies in their jurisdictions or from adopting ordinances that are in conflict with the state law. Local governments also may not require a company to obtain any additional approval, such as a permit or license, before operating within the jurisdiction. That does not, however, apply to standard business licenses and the levying of business related taxes at the local level. The bill authorizes the Department of Licensing to disburse funds to local governments for enforcement costs, but it is unclear how much would actually be available for local governments.

AWC is interested in getting feedback from cities on this bill. Please send your comments to Alison Hellberg.

Categories: Transportation