Puerto Rico law to regulate Uber-like networks enacted
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has signed into law Senate Bill 525, which could put an end to the quarrel between taxi drivers, transportation providers and those working for the ride-hailing service Uber.
The bill creates the Public Service Commission Administrative Transformation Act to simplify and unify requirements for all ground transportation providers, allowing access to platforms such as Uber and eliminating requirements that put taxi drivers at a disadvantage in relation to the digital platform.
The law also creates the Public Transportation representative to address related claims, as well as issues related to paid public transportation. The person serving this post will be named and by and report directly to the Puerto Rico Ombudsman.
“With this law. we incorporate the new industry trends while strengthening and ensuring citizens’ right to choose among all available transportation alternatives in a regulatory framework that ensures public safety and fair competition,” the governor said in a written statement.
According to the new legislation, transportation network companies such as Uber, Lyft and others must demonstrate having adopted the mechanisms to comply with the law’s provisions; that they are insured; that all vehicles used comply with regulations; and that they have adopted a zero-tolerance policy with respect to the use and consumption of drugs and alcohol.
They must also prove that they have adopted an anti-discrimination policy; that the mobile application include a photo of the driver, the vehicle model and license plate number; and that the company have a resident agent to oversee compliance with the law.
Taxis, tourism taxis, ambulances and public cars fall under the Public Service Commission’s oversight.