PSC Setting “Bare Bones” Rules for Uber and Lyft
Right now, the Montana Public Service Commission is setting out new rules for taxi carriers and new services like Uber and Lyft which could come to Montana later this year. The PSC has a lot of power with their rule making process, and could put many barriers in the way of these new business models, but Commissioner Travis Kavulla assures that that is unlikely to happen.
"The law was intended to open up the market, not to impose a lot of undue barriers to people being allowed to do business," Kavulla said. "The rule making that we are proposing is pretty bare bones at this point: it allows people to apply for these licenses, but it also allows people, or the commission itself to object if they are skeptical about a certain safety practice or business practice."
During the legislative session, some complained that services like Uber were unsafe, and didn’t require enough training of their drivers. Kavulla says that, as an individual, he finds these services are actually safer.
"I use Uber frequently when I travel, Kavulla said. "When you summon a car, you are able to see the make and model of the car, the license plate number of the car, and the photo of the driver who is coming to pick you up. In that respect I've always felt more comfortable in using Uber than in a normal Taxi where, you know, you won't have a record of the drivers name or the license plate number."
The new rules haven’t been made publicly available, but they were agreed to by four out of five of the commissioners and will be open for public comment sometime in the next few days.