Bill may bring Uber, Lyft to all corners of Louisiana

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Local community and business leaders gathered at the Central Louisiana Regional Chamber of Commerce to discuss legislation that could allow ride-sharing companies, like Uber and Lyft, to operate throughout Louisiana. (Photo credit: Melissa Gregory)

Published: Apr. 25, 2019

By: Trey Couvillion, LSU Manship School News Service

BATON ROUGE — Popular ridesharing apps Uber and Lyft might soon pick up passengers in all corners of the state, as legislators advanced a bill Tuesday that would expand the services statewide.

The proposed legislation, authored by Rep. Tanner Magee, R-Houma, would expand services of Uber, the industry’s leader, and Lyft, the second-largest rideshare app beyond some of the state’s biggest cities.

The Department of Transportation and Development would have authority to regulate the industry on a statewide level while not disturbing the rules set by some cities.

The House Transportation Committee debated the bill for more than an hour, with lawmakers stressing the importance of consistent vetting processes and arguing about whether DOTD reviews of drivers’ records should make them public.

A similar bill, proposed by House Speaker Rep. Taylor Barras, R-New Iberia, was struck down in the Senate last year. The current bill requires DOTD to review, but not obtain, a sample of records provided by the ride-hailing companies.

In February, a woman was reportedly sexually assaulted in Baton Rouge when she got into the vehicle of someone who was impersonating a rideshare service. In 2018, a fake rideshare driver demanded money from LSU’s students at knifepoint.

Read more in the Shreveport Times.

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