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House Committee Approves Statewide ‘Ride-Booking’ Regulation Bill

Ryan E. Poppe

Ride-booking companies like Uber and Lyft could soon be facing a set of state rules and regulations when operating in Texas. The state’s House committee on transportation approved a bill that places transportation network companies under state supervision.

Marshall Republican Rep. Chris Paddie’s bill would have the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles issue driver’s permits for ride-booking companies.

“We’re going to also address on the floor the fee structure,” said Paddie. “In the substitute it was listed as $115,000 from the companies. There were concerns about that being a barrier to start-up companies. So we’re going to offer an amendment on the floor that stair steps that up, so if it’s 0 to 500 it’s a lower amount and then it keeps stepping up until ultimately you do get to the $115,000 mark,” he added.

Paddie said his bill still provided some local control for cities.n

Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall

Under the bill companies like Lyft and Uber would be required to carry a certain level of insurance and conduct background checks on their drivers. “If they chose to require more and they want to require fingerprints as Houston does? With this change they will be able to continue to do that. So we basically said, ‘Cities we heard ya’ and we realize there’s not a consensus on this,” Paddie explained.

In San Antonio, Uber rejected a final version of the city’s ordinance due to fees, insurance policy concerns and background checks.

The bill passed out of committee and now heads to the House floor for a vote. 

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.