December 8, 2016

PUC Establishes Operating Authority Application Process For Ride-Hailing Services

The Public Utility Commission Thursday voted to establish procedures and guidelines for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), also known as ride-hailing services, to apply for permanent operating authority.
The Commissioners voted 5-0 in favor of an Implementation Order regarding Act 164 of 2016, which creates the regulatory framework for TNCs to operate in Pennsylvania.
Signed into law by Gov. Wolf on Nov. 4, 2016, the statute provides for permanent statewide authority for these innovative services – addressing matters such as vehicle safety, driver integrity, insurance coverage and licensing requirements.
Prior to the approval of Act 164, TNCs operated in most of Pennsylvania under experimental authority granted by the PUC.
In 2014 and 2015 the PUC granted experimental authority to three ride-hailing services: Yellow Z, Uber and Lyft.
The Commission oversees transportation services operating throughout Pennsylvania – including taxis, limousines and TNCs – with the exception of Philadelphia, where those activities are regulated by the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
The Implementation Order approved by the Commission provides specific procedures and guidance governing the TNC application process. Ride-hailing services currently operating under PUC-issued experimental authority are encouraged to apply for a new TNC license.
TNC applicants are required to submit the following information and supporting documentation for Commission review:
-- A verified, written application on a form prescribed by the Commission.
-- A certificate of insurance for the coverage levels required by Act 164.
-- Documentation evidencing the TNC’s financial position.
-- Certify that it will maintain accurate records.
-- Certify that the vehicles used in TNC service comply with Pennsylvania’s vehicle safety standards.
-- If autonomous vehicles are used in TNC service, verify that the vehicles and their operation comply with all applicable PennDOT regulations.
-- Certify that it will implement a driver drug and alcohol policy.
-- Certify that it will conduct background checks of its TNC drivers before permitting them access to their digital network.
-- Certify that it will establish and provide a driver training program.
-- Certify that it has a procedure for complaint resolution.
The Commission continues working on other substantive issues related to Act 164, which will be addressed as implementation of the law moves forward.
Related Story:
PennDOT Task Force Releases Recommendations For Self-Driving Vehicles For Comment