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Home » Personal Injury » Uber & Lyft Regulations Made Official By Massachusetts Gov.

Uber & Lyft Regulations Made Official By Massachusetts Gov.

a smartphone connected to rideshare hovers over massachusettsRideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have been targets for lawsuits since their inception. Their most vocal critics typically represent the taxi industry, which has been in decline due to the rising popularity of smartphone-driven transportation services. Also expressing grievances are ride-share drivers, some of whom have complained about wages and other logistical issues. Governmental bodies around the world have also expressed various concerns, including several at the state level in the United States.

At this point, many states have implemented regulatory laws that specifically address issues related to the blossoming ride-share industry. Massachusetts is the most recent state to put such legislation into effect — Governor Charlie Baker gave the official go-ahead Friday for laws geared toward establishing “a statewide framework that [deals] with public safety issues, insurance issues, and vehicle identification issues.”

What’s in the bill:

To address the grievances raised by taxi drivers who have found themselves stuck on board an apparently sinking ship, ride-share businesses will henceforth be obligated to exact a 20-cent fee for every ride. Much of this money will be used to soften taxi drivers’ economic growing pains.

Safety is also a prime concern for the ride-share industry. This is largely a response to incidents like the one in January involving Alejandro Done, an Uber driver who kidnapped and sexual abused one of his passengers. Since then, there’s been a loud demand for a more thorough vetting process for ride-share drivers. Two background checks will now be required: one conducted by the ride-share company, and the other conducted by the state.

The third big change is certainly a victory for ride-share companies, as well as their customers. Until now, drivers for Uber and Lyft have been prohibited from picking up passengers at the Logan Airport and Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Of course, while this is good news for ride-share supporters, this particular provision is not likely to please many taxi drivers, for whom these locations will become much more competitive.

What’s not in the bill:

Provisions that require fingerprinting. This was yet another disappointment to taxi companies, whose prospective drivers in Boston are legally required to be fingerprinted as part of their background checks.

The rejected calls for fingerprinting shine light on what seems to be the larger issue: that there is apparently a different standard for ride-share companies than for taxi companies. It’s an understandable complaint — after all, taxi companies are steadily losing business while Uber and Lyft climb to the top of the food chain. If the success of ride-share transportation services really is due to legal leniency, taxi drivers can’t just sit by and watch their careers burn to the ground. It’s a complicated situation, one that will probably be in flux for several years to come.

At Turner Law Offices, P.C., our team of attorneys has years of experience working with clients across a wide range of cases. If you or a loved one has suffered because of unjust financial circumstances, it’s possible that those circumstances call for legal action. Call today, or go online to set up your free initial consultation, and meet with a skilled lawyer who’s ready and waiting to get you on track toward the justice you deserve.

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