The Business Council opposes A.8195-B. The legislation in its original form would authorize the issuance of automobile insurance policies to transportation network companies and transportation network company drivers. However, the “B” version of the bill lost sight of its original intent – to provide a safe and affordable transit option, while at the same time creating new jobs and generating economic activity for communities throughout the state of New York.
The use of transportation network companies has many benefits to consumers and the economy as a whole. Ride sharing and other “collaborative consumption” innovations allow individuals in our communities to get around conveniently and affordably, especially in communities where public transport is not available.
The original version of the bill followed the guidelines of national model legislation that provided a workable framework for the transportation network companies to operate. However, the amendments confound the process by imposing additional mandates, including significant insurance coverage that is higher than any limits adopted in any other state. Mandating these excessive limits will price the insurance costs such that obtaining coverage is not sustainable. The bill eliminates the flexibility found in the national model provision that enables insurance coverage to be obtained through purchase by the driver, by the transportation company or a combination of both. This proposal also authorizes localities to adopt regulations that could require coverage limits even higher than those set forth in the bill. These provisions only make it more difficult for the transportation network companies to operate in upstate communities.
New York has a history of leading the nation when it comes to adopting legislative policies that affect real change in the way we all live and work. Unfortunately, when it comes to the so-called “new economy”, New York’s policies are falling woefully behind. The legislature should adopt the national model that has a proven record and allow New York citizens to take advantage of the benefits technology is affording us all.
For the reasons stated above, The Business Council urges the disapproval of the amended version, A.8195-B.