The decision by the Kansas Legislature earlier this week to override Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto of onerous ridesharing legislation already is yielding its inevitable consequence. Transportation network company Uber has announced it plans to pull out of the state before the new rules take effect early next month.
While a number of states continue to consider and implement reasonable ridesharing regulations, the path has been bumpier than expected, given that the historic compromisereached in March between leaders of the TNC and auto insurance industries on safety and coverage issues offers a great model for states to emulate. Nonetheless, some states continue to make the task harder than it need be. In Kansas, that took the form of an inexplicable requirement that any driver with a lien on his or her vehicle must carry additional coverages.
The Garden State might present the next hot spot. Whereas ridesharing has made significant strides in many regions of the country, particularly in the West, the Northeast remains notably behind in recognizing the need for an appropriately modern and flexible regulatory regime to handle this emerging business model. Just in the past few weeks have proposals for real reform taken even the first steps toward public debate in states like New York and Massachusetts.
In New Jersey, we see a classic example of government bowing to incumbent special interests – particularly in the taxi cartel – with proposed regulations that would drive out the competition and innovation ridesharing has introduced. As The Associated Press reports:
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