New Jersey Reconsiders Regulations for Ride-Hailing

A user looks to reserve a vehicle through Uber's ride-hailing platform. Photo courtesy of Uber.
A user looks to reserve a vehicle through Uber's ride-hailing platform. Photo courtesy of Uber.

New Jersey is reconsidering how it regulates ride-hailing companies when it comes to drivers, insurance, or other consumer protections, according to a report by The Philadelphia Inquirer.

New Jersey would become the 37th state to pass a law regulating ride-hailing, says the report.

Over the holidays, the New Jersey legislature voted in favor of a bill that would specify the level of insurance that ride-hailing companies must maintain. The proposed bill also has an enforced background check for all drivers, according to the report.

Additionally, under the proposed law, ride-hailing companies would be prohibited from discriminating against riders based on their destination, race, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

In the negotiations, it was argued that ride-hailing companies should be held to the same standards for background checks as the limousine industry, which enforces fingerprint tests as a part of the background check process.

However, over the summer, Uber had former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder write a letter to New Jersey lawmakers warning that fingerprint-based checks were flawed and could discriminate against minorities. Uber spent $160,000 on lobbying in the past year, according to the report.

Currently, the ride-hailing companies can submit their own background-check methods to New Jersey’s attorney general for review. If the attorney general deemed the process insufficient, applicants would not be able to drive for ride-hailing companies like Uber until they passed a check conducted by state police.

Click here for the full Philadelphia Inquirer report.

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