May 5, 2015

Uber requests reconsideration from PRC on new regulations

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Uber app, Albuquerque

The ridesharing company Uber filed a motion on Monday requesting the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission to reconsider an action to regulate the company. In the motion, a local subsidiary of Uber argued that the PRC unfairly grouped Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) into the same category as taxi and limousine companies.

Hinter-NM, LLC, in the motion, said if the commission creates more regulation for companies like Uber and Lyft, the should recognize a TNC operates differently than other transportation services.

From the motion:

The Transportation Network Company (“TNC”) regulations adopted by the Public Regulation (“Commission”) are fundamentally flawed. The Commission should reconsider rules because they are “unlawful, unjust, [and] unreasonable.”

The full motion is available at the bottom of the post.

Hinter-NM,LLC requested the commission review the new regulations and consider a handful of issues.

If the Commission chooses instead to maintain framework already adopted, Hinter-NM, LLC (“Hinter-NM”) urges the Commission to reconsider and promptly address three important issues: (1) insurance, (2) drug and alcohol testing, and (3) driver and equipment lists. Finally, Hinter-NM urges the commission to make additional technical amendments to the following provisions: (1) recordkeeping regarding the number of passengers, (2) the TNC definition, (3) posting of rates, and (4) the location of the TNC’s records.

The company argued that it already maintains sufficient insurance for all of its drivers and the commission is unfairly requiring coverage for drivers whether they have a paying rider in the car or not.

In terms of drug testing, record-keeping and equipment lists, Hinter-NM,LLC said it would be overly burdensome for TNCs to maintain those types of records. They argued they already have a “zero-tolerance” policy and the commission is asking them to go above and beyond the scope of their business practices.

Last month, the New Mexico Attorney General delivered a letter to the PRC urging them to increase regulation for drug testing and record keeping. Commission Chair Karen Montoya told New Mexico Political report in a previous interview the PRC already tightened up the regulations, while Commissioner Valerie Espinoza argued they still had not done enough.

The motion came almost a year after the PRC originally tried to stop ride sharing companies from operating withoutregulations. Since then, both Uber and Lyft continued to operate. Last week, Lyft sent an email to its drivers informing them they are planning on “pausing” service in Albuquerque because of regulation imposed by the PRC.

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