In Colorado, you may have heard about the new travel services called Uber and Lyft. According to the May 20 report, these Internet companies allow riders to find drivers in just seconds through a cellphone application. These applications will soon be regulated in Colorado, though, because they are currently unable to be regulated by taxi and limo regulations.
According to the story, the drivers can use personal cars and often drive only to supplement their income. The new bill for regulation will allow Lyft and Uber to operate in Colorado, and it will put the companies under the oversight of the state's public utilities commission. These companies will also be classified as transportation network companies instead of taxi or limo companies. Without the fix to regulate these companies, they face a number of complaints that they have been running illegally.
You should be concerned about this regulation for one main reason: auto accidents. In the case that you're in an accident when you are using these services, who would pay? Now, there will be no confusion. The driver's personal insurance will not have to cover the passenger; in fact, the company will have to have its insurance kick in as soon as a driver picks up a passenger.
This change will help consumer safety and eliminate any gray areas related to the companies and their insurance policies. The senior vice president at Veolia Transportation doesn't believe this has cleared up the confusion about insurance or other areas, though. In a normal taxi company, there are many more regulations than Uber or Lyft face, like the rates that taxis must charge. Those rates are set by the state, but the new companies won't have those restrictions.
Source: News Observer, "Rules for Uber, Lyft to become law in Colorado" Ivan Moreno, May. 20, 2014