The state House has passed a bill to regulate ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, but critics say it’s not tough enough.
The bill would require companies to conduct background checks on drivers and a no-tolerance policy on drug and alcohol use for drivers while they’re working; bar drivers convicted of some felonies; offer estimated fares to riders; make sure drivers’ vehicles are insured; and require companies to pay an annual $5,000 fee.
The bill would also ban additional local requirements of those companies including license requirements and would exempt them from most local taxes.
Democrat leader Jacob Hummel (St. Louis) said the bill’s checks on drivers don’t go far enough, particularly by not fingerprinting them as is done with taxicab drivers in St. Louis. He cited an Uber driver in Boston that worked while awaiting trial on two rapes.
“Uber’s non-fingerprint background checks didn’t work,” said Hummel .
Republicans including Rick Brattin said the bill would allow the free market to work with less government interference.
“We have a taxi service that will still be allowed to operate, still be allowed to collectively bargain for their wages and everything that they work for, but this will also allow a new market item for the people to have the ability to choose which service they want to utilize,” said Brattin.
Both Uber and Lyft support the legislation. It has been sent to the state Senate.