Kansas Legislature passes bill regulating Uber, ride-sharing services

From The Wichita Eagle, Brad Cooper reports that legislation passed the Kansas legislature that would impose more regulations on make ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.  The bill would require drivers who use their personal vehicles for commercial purposes to pass background checks and obtain additional insurance.  Brad writes:

Kansas moved to regulate the emerging sharing economy on Thursday when lawmakers passed new rules on ride-hailing services amid threats Uber would leave Wichita, Kansas City and the state.

A bill imposing new standards for insurance coverage and requiring background checks of drivers easily cleared the Legislature on Thursday. It now goes to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s desk.

The bill would make Kansas just the sixth state to regulate ride-fetching services using a mobile Internet application to connect drivers with riders. Other states with laws on the books include California, Illinois and Virginia.

Ride-share legislation is pending in 35 states.

The Kansas bill aims to clarify murky areas surrounding when drivers are covered by insurance if they’re using personal vehicles for commercial activity.

It’s a national issue that gained attention this week when the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reported gaps in coverage for ride-hailing services operating in hundreds of cities nationwide.

A sticky area, the insurance group report says, includes the time between when drivers turn on the ride-sharing app but before they pick up passengers….”

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