Bill Amendment Places Uber, Lyft On Defense In Nevada - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Bill Amendment Places Uber, Lyft On Defense In Nevada

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Uber and Lyft say an amendment to a Nevada Senate bill could effectively end ride-sharing in the Silver State.

SB 226 was originally introduced to increase the number of Uber and Lyft drivers that have to register with the state. Right now, only about 1-in-6 do register, and the bill's sponsor says if that changes, it would make more than $11 million for the state.

However, an amendment introduced by Assemblyman Richard Carrillo and adopted Friday would also require drivers to increase their insurance coverage. Drivers would need a policy that covers up to $300,000 when using a ride-share app, and $1.5 million when they have a passenger.

Companies like Uber say it would be too expensive for its drivers. An Uber spokesperson released the following statement:

"This past Friday at 11:35 p.m., the taxi cab association and its lobbyists snuck a controversial amendment into a bill which would effectively end UBER in Nevada. This amendment was added with no discussion, committee hearing or public debate, circumnavigating the critical parts of the legislative process. If passed, this amendment would give taxi cabs a monopoly over Nevada’s transportation and would drive out innovative business and economic growth and, ultimately end ride sharing in the state.

Among other things, this amendment would require two untenable things of Uber drivers – preemptive business licensing and excessive insurance coverage. Before an individual could apply for a position with UBER, they must hold applicable state and local business licenses. Preemptive licensing is not required of any other business or industry and places a costly and cumbersome task on drivers without any guarantee of employment. However, the death blow comes in the form of excessive insurance coverage. If passed, UBER drivers would be required to carry a minimum of $300,000 in coverage when using the app and a minimum of $1.5 million when providing rides to passengers (taxis are only required to hold $300,000 when providing rides to passengers). These insurance requirements would be the highest in the county, multiplying current UBER premiums in Nevada five times. These obscene requirements are only being placed on ride-sharing companies such as UBER while the taxi companies are exempt."

We contacted Assemblyman Carrillo, but have not yet heard back from him. We also spoke to one lawmaker who is against the amendment. She says keeping ride-sharing in Nevada is critical for the state's tourism industry. "We certainly expect that we want them to be safe," said Assemblywoman Jill Tolles representing District 25. "But we also want to make sure we have that competitive market that provides those choice for tourists and the general public to take advantage of."

Brent Bell, President of Livery Operators Association released this statement: 

SB226 will require Uber and Lyft to increase their insurance limits while drivers wait to engage and transport a passenger from $50,000 to $300,000 per incident to be consistent with those currently required of taxi companies in Nevada. The proposed requirements are either comparable to other states like California or, in some instances, less restrictive of Uber and Lyft because Nevada would not require full time commercial insurance.

SB226 does NOT impose any additional driver fees and in NO way is an attempt to force Uber and Lyft out of business, but rather an effort to ensure ride sharing companies are transporting passengers responsibly, so as to ensure the safety of our citizens and tourists. My companies, and other taxi companies in Nevada, are confident we can successfully compete head-to-head with Uber and Lyft with laws in place ensuring those responsible for commercially transporting passengers are operating under a similarly safe environment.

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