Popular ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber may soon be coming under new regulations.
Billy Fields, who leads the city’s Transportation and Licensing Commission, said companies like Lyft and Uber are considered “drivers for hire,” not taxis. And under that title, they need to have a permit and be working for a licensed company.
Under Nashville’s current law, Lyft and Uber are technically illegal.
“They are operating on the public streets, and they are operating for-hire, and I understand there have been tickets issued to some of the drivers around town.”
Metro Police could not say how many tickets have been issued to drivers.
By the end of the summer, Fields said he will go in front of Metro Council to ask that a new law be written. It’ll require that rideshare companies have special licenses, inspections and the same insurance taxi drivers are required to have.
Fields says he hopes to work with Lyft and Uber on the new rules, but he also is listening to taxi drivers. He said the new law will even the playing field for all companies in the business of moving people around town.
Lyft spokeswoman Chelsea Wilson said “regulations surrounding taxis and limos were created before anything like Lyft’s peer-to-peer model was ever imagined,” and that “we’re committed to working with local officials to craft new rules for this new industry that prioritize public safety and consumer choice.”
Chicago recently passed a new ordinance to regulate Uber and Lyft, and it has drawn fire for being too restrictive.