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Ride-sharing companies now governed by state regulations


This news story was published on May 11, 2016.
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Iowa capitol

Iowa capitol

DES MOINES – Gov. Terry Branstad this week signed a new state law regulating how transportation companies like Uber will operate.

The new legislation provides for the regulation of transportation network companies (like Uber and Lyft) as well as regular taxicabs. Among the main provisions in the bill, drivers must undergo background checks and carry minimum insurance coverage.

Local governments may set their own, added regulations, if they see fit.

Perhaps the most-popular ride-sharing company, Uber, already operates in Iowa’s major cities.  Using a cell phone application, persons needing a ride in a city where Uber operates can schedule a pickup.  Uber aims to “connect riders to drivers in real time”.  Drivers and passengers can “rate” each other – kind of policing their own behavior – and each can look at the ratings of the other before agreeing on a ride.

Uber operates in Des Moines, Ames, Iowa City and the Quad Cities and may soon expand.

The state law goes into effect January 1, 2017.

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