Senate Gives Ridesharing Companies a Green Light to Operate Across the Entire State
The Alabama State Senate passed SB143 today, a bill that would provide a consistent regulatory framework across the state for ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft, and eliminate the haphazard, confusing patchwork of differing municipal laws and regulations. The bill, sponsored by Senator Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro), received bipartisan support and passed unanimously.
Alabama is one of only six states lacking statewide ridesharing regulations. The proposal would allow companies to bring the benefits of ridesharing to suburban and rural communities across the state.
“This is a perfect example of a bipartisan bill that works for all Alabamians,” Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed said. “Installing this regulatory framework is going to provide folks all over the state another choice in transportation, ensure safe operation for both drivers and riders, and pave the way for more jobs in the state.”
Because of a lack of statewide regulations, ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft operate in only fifteen of the larger cities in Alabama: Auburn, Birmingham, Daphne, Gardendale, Gulf Shores, Homewood, Hoover, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Mountain Brook, Pelham, Tuscaloosa, Trussville and Vestavia Hills.
“This is important to the state of Alabama because ride-sharing is the new trend across the United States. If we pass this legislation, we will be the 45th state in the U.S.,” Singleton remarked. “It’s important for us as a state to keep up with trends. This will allow citizens in the state of Alabama to be employed and it will allow people who don’t have transportation to be able to move around in their cities.”
Singleton’s proposal creates a statewide ridesharing network under the control of the Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC). A single permit issued by the PSC would then allow the companies to operate statewide under uniform regulations rather than requiring each municipality to file for their own permits and regulations.
Uber’s public affairs manager Nick Juliano praised Alabama lawmakers for passing the bill.
“The Alabama Senate took the first major step today in making sure that people in every corner of our state have access to reliable, affordable transportation,” Juliano said. “By expanding ridesharing services to all of Alabama, this legislation will create thousands of new jobs. We are grateful to members of the Senate for their support of this pro-growth initiative that will make Alabama the 45th state in the nation to adopt a statewide ridesharing law.”
SB143 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.