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April 10, 2015      4:52 PM

It could take weeks to hammer out agreement on ridesharing legislation

Insurance, background checks and ADA compliance of driver-owned vehicles are all at issue

Sometime next week, Rep. Chris Paddie will bring stakeholders together to come up with some solution to resolve driver background checks for Uber and Lyft.

Lawmakers went into Thursday’s hearing with questions about background checks and seven hours of testimony didn’t do much to make the solution clear. The prediction is it will take one, and possibly two, weeks to hammer out some compromise to please the four major cities that currently offer ridesharing.  

Rep. Paddie, R-Marshall, laid out his substitute for House Bill 2440 yesterday in House Transportation Committee. The bill, co-authored with Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, standardizing insurance coverage, background checks and driver permits, putting ridesharing one step short of taxicabs.

“We attempted to operate within the bill that was originally presented to us,” Paddie said. “Some problems are fixed and some remain unresolved.”

Current tweaks to the bill include bumping state fees from $5,000 to $115,000 to get rid of a fiscal note. The bill also added violations of state law that could disqualify a driver, at the suggestion of CLEAT, and it gives Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport some pre-emption rights to regulate rides on its property.

By Kimberly Reeves