CARSON CITY — The association that produces the huge CES trade show in Las Vegas sent a letter to Gov. Brian Sandoval and members of the Legislature on Tuesday opposing a bill that could shut down companies like Uber and Lyft in Nevada.
In the letter, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, said a “poison pill” amendment added to Senate Bill 226 in the Assembly late Friday threatens the future operation of transportation network companies in Nevada.
“As the owner and producer of CES held each year in Las Vegas, CTA is acutely aware of the benefits that transportation choice has brought to Nevada,” he said in the letter. “Over the past two years when Uber and Lyft have been operational in Las Vegas during CES, our over 170,000 attendees have experienced significantly shorter wait times for all forms of transit.”
Shapiro said the amendment added to the bill by Assemblyman Richard Carrillo, D-Las Vegas, late Friday night during an Assembly floor session “would upset the balance of transportation options available in Nevada.”
The bill, in the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, would require Uber and Lyft drivers to carry insurance far beyond what is required in any other state, Shapiro said.
“It is indisputable that (transportation network companies) should carry reasonable levels of insurance, but Nevada law already requires insurance coverage that meets or exceeds the requirements of most other states,” he said.
“Testing of self-driving vehicles by … companies in any scenario where the car is transporting passengers would be banned by SB 226,” Shapiro said. “Nevada has worked hard to develop a reputation as one of the leading destinations for innovative companies in the United States. Threatening existing innovations and prohibiting testing that leads to cutting-edge technologies would be a major step backward.”
In 2011, Nevada became the first state in the country to allow the testing of self-driving cars.
The ride-sharing companies say the amendment is being sought by the Las Vegas taxicab industry to eliminate competition.
Contact Sean Whaley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-461-3820. Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.