Nebraska Uber bill moves to final round

LB 629, the bill to establish a regulatory framework for transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft, moved to final round consideration in the Nebraska legislature yesterday evening on a unanimous voice vote. Prior to advancement, an amendment was adopted that represented a hard-won compromise among interested parties including Uber, banking and insurance companies,…

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norrischamber2LB 629, the bill to establish a regulatory framework for transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft, moved to final round consideration in the Nebraska legislature yesterday evening on a unanimous voice vote.

Prior to advancement, an amendment was adopted that represented a hard-won compromise among interested parties including Uber, banking and insurance companies, and the Public Service Commission.

“This amendment is a result of numerous meetings and discussions with interested parties since General File,” said Sen. Heath Mello of Omaha, the bill’s primary sponsor. Sen. Mello gave credit to Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion, Chairman of the Transportation & Telecommunications Committee, and Sen. Brett Lindstrom of Omaha, for helping to gain agreement on the amendment from the various interests.

Lien holder responsibility addressed

The amendment addresses one of the main objections from the banking community by assigning responsibility and a process for lien holders to be notified if someone plans to use their personal vehicle for TNC purposes.

“The TNC must inform drivers that they are responsible for informing lien holders that they intend to use their vehicle for TNC purposes,” Sen. Mello said. “The Public Service Commission will provide a standardized form for drivers to use, and drivers must provide evidence that notice has been sent and wait 7 days prior to begin driving for a TNC.”

Increased insurance requirement

The amendment also increases TNC insurance requirements to $1 million, which has become the national standard, and makes clear distinctions between TNCs and personal vehicle uses like carpooling.

Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln said this is very important for his district, which includes many University of Nebraska-Lincoln students. “I know there were some concerns earlier about over-regulation, but this bill creates a really good statutory framework,” Sen. Morfeld said.

The bill faces a final vote in the Legislature before being presented to the Governor.

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