Since coming to Nevada a year and a half ago, ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft have done good business.
With state lawmakers, the transportation network companies – or TNCs – hashed out a series of regulations governing their operation here.
Now, Senate Bill 226 would add another layer of regulation, making drivers who work for companies like Lyft and Uber hold business licenses.
State Sen. Kelvin Atkinson (D - Dist. 4), told KNPR's State of Nevada the regulation is not actually new. He said it was part of a bill passed a year and half ago to allow the companies to operate in Nevada, but it has never been enforced - until now.
"It’s not a new thing I’m trying to enforce them to have," he said. "I’m trying to enforce a law that we already had on the books."
Atkinson said the companies agreed to that part of the bill, but neither Uber nor Lyft is pleased about the proposal.
In a statement to KNPR's State of Nevada, Uber said, "Uber is opposed to this bill, but remains committed to working on a compromise with Chairman Atkinson who championed Uber during the 2015 session."
Lyft concurred, saying "Lyft already notifies all drivers of the business license requirement and provides detailed information on how and where drivers can obtain their licenses. Instead of singling out one industry with additional regulations, we are eager to work with legislative leaders on policies that help expand economic opportunity and consumer choice for all Nevadans."
Atkinson said one of the issues with the business license is who should enforce the rule. Currently, if Uber or Lyft is missing insurance information or any other piece of vital information from a driver, that driver is off the app until he or she provides that information.
Atkinson believes they could do the same thing with state business licenses, but the companies believe the state should take care of enforcing the rule.
Right now, state lawmakers don't know how many ride-hailing drivers are on the roads in Nevada. This bill would fill in that blank, which Atkinson believes everyone has a right to know.
"We should as a state, as citizens, should know who’s out there doing business on our roads," he said.
Sen. Kelvin Atkinson (D-Las Vegas), chair, Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor & Energy
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