Statewide Rideshare Legislation Passes Senate Judiciary a Committee
BATON ROUGE, La. – Today, the Louisiana Senate Judiciary A Committee voted two-to-one to advance legislation that would create a statewide framework for ridesharing, just as over 40 states across the country have done. The bill has passed the house overwhelmingly each year since 2016 – but this is the first time it has passed a senate committee. Members of Let’s Geaux Louisiana coalition and drivers from Uber and Lyft assembled at the Capitol ahead of and during the committee hearing to speak in support of the bill, calling on senators to pass the legislation. The announcement was made in a press release.
“This legislation is important for our entire state, especially our more rural areas that do have access to ridesharing right now,” said senator Rick Ward, III (R-District 17). “I am proud that my committee passed the one clear set of rules for ridesharing that Louisiana needs and look forward to the full Senate doing the same.”
Local elected officials and business leaders in the Let’s Geaux Louisiana Coalition launched an online petition this year calling on Senators to join the House in creating more economic opportunities and expand access to reliable transportation across the state.
“The Cenla Chamber strongly supports this legislation,” said Deborah Randolph, President of the Central Louisiana Regional Chamber of Commerce President. “Residents and visitors very much want the services in our area. Locals want it to support our local economic development. We are seriously underserved when it comes to this type of transportation and are grateful to the Senators for passing this on, including our own Senator Luneau. It is our hope that this bill will be voted on the full Senate floor as soon as possible.”
"The ridesharing legislation, HB 575, would bring Louisiana in line with more than 40 states across the country that have already passed statewide rideshare rules, eliminating our current inconsistent patchwork of regulations,” said Courtney Baker, LABI Director Government Reform Task Force, Technology and Trade, Transportation & Tourism. “By establishing one clear set of rules across the state, Louisiana rideshare drivers will be given the opportunity to make the most of their hours behind the wheel.”
“We need ridesharing in Alexandria to give us more transportation options – from families who lack access to a car to students who need reliable rides home to seniors who need rides to their doctors,” said Jeffrey W. Hall, mayor of Alexandria.
“We thank the Senate Judiciary A Committee for passing a statewide ridesharing framework that would bring access to convenient rides and flexible work opportunities to more communities throughout Louisiana,” said Evangeline George, Uber southeast public affairs manager. “Louisiana residents deserve the same access to these opportunities as those in the more than 40 states that already have statewide ridesharing laws.”
“We are pleased to see the bill moving forward,” said Carter Stern Public Policy manager with Lyft. “We are now one step closer to bringing convenient, safe and affordable rides to all of Louisiana.”
Today, the committee hearing was flooded with Uber and Lyft drivers who spoke in support of the bill.
“I’ve been here three years in a row,” said Victor Silvio, an Uber and Lyft driver-partner in Baton Rouge who lost his son to a drunk driver. “I don’t know why it’s taken so long to get this passed. I’d like to help people in other towns who need rides. We need to get this passed across the state.”
HB575 would have established one set of rules for the operation of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft in the State of Louisiana, replacing the existing patchwork of conflicting local regulations. The bill requires background screening standards for TNC drivers and includes consumer protection provisions that strengthen the community of riders and drivers in Louisiana with requirements such as fare transparency, electronic receipts and ease of identification of TNC vehicles and drivers. Currently, many of Louisiana’s more rural areas do not have access to ridesharing – leaving those who need a ride and potential drivers behind.
For more information about on statewide ridesharing legislation and how it will help Louisiana, visit geauxridesharing.com.