Laying down rules for Uber, Lyft isn’t a simple process

If you‘re a fan of Uber and Lyft, you‘€™re one step closer to ride-hailing nirvana.

But if you‘re a critic, you‘™re one step closer to ride-hailing Armageddon.

I have received dozens of emails from Warrior readers asking about the latest on the legalization of transportation network companies. Last week and this week, the process is moving forward.

For those who haven‘t been keeping up, the Legislature in May passed legislation legalizing such companies and left it in the hands of the Nevada Transportation Authority to deal with the details of writing the rules and regulations by which they will operate.

It wasn‘t an easy task because everybody has a preconceived notion of what Uber and Lyft are, and lawmakers directed the Transportation Authority to draft a whole new set of rules and not rely on statutes that have existed for years for taxis and limousines, though they will operate much like them. Under the rule making process, the authority delivered a first draft with 150 sections and then asked the public for comment

The task of producing that first draft fell on the shoulders of James Allen Day, a good-humored administrative attorney who admitted that he borrowed liberally from other statutes to put together something he felt the Legislature was looking for.

In the first of two workshop meetings, the public was invited to poke holes in Day‘€™s work.

And it did. Vigorously.

Through the 5½ hours the authority board and staff met, presiding officer Keith Sakelhide guided the review section by section.

The process went something like this:

Uber suits commented on a regulation. Taxi and limousine company representatives responded with their views. Lyft suits commented on the regulation. Taxi and limousine company representatives responded with their views. A random member of the public, maybe a cabdriver, maybe an advocacy group chimed in. Taxi and limousine company representatives proposed an idea. Uber and Lyft suits rejected it.

Sometimes, the Uber and Lyft suits would opine that a regulation wasn‘€™t necessary or that it didn‘t conform to the intent of the Legislature.

You can see why the authority didn‘€™t make it through half the proposed regulations in the first hearing.

Probably the most interesting disclosure was Uber‘™s and Lyft‘™s assertion that getting licensed in Nevada would cost them more than any other place they‘™ve entered a market.

The authority conducted a financial analysis and determined that an unlimited number of cars and drivers coming into the market required a $500,000 cost of admission. That doesn‘tount the $50-per-driver fee that has been proposed. (We don‘€™t know yet whether the companies will bear the cost or whether they will ask their contracted drivers to do so.)

Don’€™t worry about whether the half-million will scare either company away. They will be able to recoup that in a good Vegas weekend, and both are invested to get into the local market.

They did, however, tell the authority that they will look into ways to take care of some regulatory and administrative tasks themselves so that the state doesn’€™t have to charge as much.

Call me skeptical, but I don’€™t find much comfort in hearing that a regulated company is volunteering to do regulatory things itself.

One of the reasons the authority is charging so much is that it’€™s going to have to hire more enforcement staff, not just to oversee the companies, but to keep on the lookout for drivers posing as Uber and Lyft drivers working off the app. It‘€™s totally illegal, but the regulators believe it’€™s going to happen.

Another highlight: A proposed regulation would require a permitted driver to attach signage "€œin letters not less than 2 inches high in sharply contrasting colors which are legible from a distance of at least 50 feet"€ identifying the vehicle as that of an Uber or Lyft driver. Remember, these are people‘€™s personal vehicles.

The Uber and Lyft suits said the drivers would never go for it. They suggested allowing a magnetic sign to suffice. But the regulators said it would defeat the purpose of identifying a vehicle because a magnetic sign could easily be transferred to another car and the purpose is to identify a car that has been inspected by the regulators.

Both sides said they would work on it and bring it back for discussion.

What Thursday‘€™s meeting did was affirm that the ride-hailing service the public has been clamoring for will be in operation soon.

If you‘€™re a resident of Las Vegas who needs a ride occasionally, the service is convenient and will be helpful. If you want to drive part time, you will be able to set your own hours –€” but don‘€™t count on getting rich. It‘€™s not really a good model for an individual to make a ton of cash unless you’€™re really good at it — which most of us aren‘€™t.

The authority will plow forward in the review of the rest of the regulations, and the plan is to ask the public to offer its own suggestions. A copy of the proposed regulations is available at the authority‘s website, nta.nv.gov.

Another round of comments is scheduled 9 a.m. Thursday in Room 4412 of the Sawyer Building.

Persons who want to email their own regulatory suggestions can send them to jday@nta.nv.gov.

Questions and comments should be sent to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com. Please include your phone number. Follow @RJroadwarrior on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Tate Elementary shows academic progress after categorical funding
Students at Tate Elementary in Las Vegas has benefited from a program to boost education funding in targeted student populations, known as categorical funding. One program called Zoom helps students who have fallen below grade level in reading. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Three Square helps TSA workers
Three Square Food Bank donated over 400 care bags to TSA workers affected by the government shutdown Wednesday, filled with food, personal hygiene products and water.
Las Vegas furniture store donates to Clark County firehouses
Walker Furniture donated new mattresses to all 30 Clark County firehouses in the Las Vegas Valley, starting today with Station 22. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
Jesus Jara State of the Schools address
Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara delivers his State of the Schools address on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Naft sworn in to Clark County Commission
Michael Naft, chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to be his replacement on the Clark County Commission, was sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas police piecing together details of fatal shooting
Six hours after the fact, Las Vegas homicide detectives worked to reconstruct the scene of a shooting early Jan. 7 that left one man dead in the southeast valley. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dyer Lawrence explains college football playoff system proposal
Las Vegan Dyer Lawrence has a new idea for a college football playoff system that includes a unique scheduling component called National Call Out Day. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death row inmate Scott Dozier found dead in his cell
Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier is dead. Dozier’s death ends his legal odyssey, which began in 2007 when he was convicted in the 2002 murder of Jeremiah Miller, but does little to clarify what’s next for Nevada’s death penalty.
I-15 southbound near Primm closed after ‘major crash’
A rollover crash Saturday morning involving at least nine vehicles on southbound Interstate 15 near Primm caused an hourslong traffic delay. Traffic was backed up to Sloan, live traffic cameras show. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death Valley visitors deal with shutdown
Visitors staying at the Furnace Creek Campground were forced to move from the campground following health and safety concerns due to lack of resources during the partial government shutdown at Death Valley National Park in Calif., on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph
Half of homicides in Henderson for 2018 domestic violence related
Lt. Kirk Moore of the public information office of the city of Henderson police department speaks to the Review-Journal in Henderson, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Henderson saw a slight increase in homicides in the past year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak stops by Las Vegas Boys and Girls Club
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak kicks off his tour to Carson City, which will take him from Las Vegas, through Tonopah, and up to the capital city. First stop is the Downtown Boys & Girls Club.
Certificates for renewing wedding vows in Clark County
The Marriage License Bureau in Clark County began issuing a Certificate of Vow Renewal to married couples who are renewing their wedding vows on Jan. 3, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas flu season better than last year (so far)
Dr. Fermin Leguen, chief medical officer and director of clinical services at the Southern Nevada Health District, said there were 24 flu-related deaths at this point in the flu season. No deaths have been reported so far this year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Las Vegas Valley’s First Baby of 2019
The first 2019 baby in the Las Vegas Valley was Melialani Chihiro Manning, born at 12:10 a.m. at Henderson Hospital. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Sources: Henderson Constable may face more charges
Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell may face additional charges ... stemming from his spending of county funds, sources said. Mitchell was indicted earlier this month on five felony theft and fraud charges ... after a Las Vegas Review-Journal story questioned his spending. But grand jury records show even more extensive spending including ... an $800 dinner at steakhouse ... nearly 200 atm withdrawals mostly at gambling establishments ... and even Disneyland tickets. But his attorney plans to ask a judge to dismiss the charges.
Las Vegas NYE Restrictions and Enhanced Security
If you are planning to celebrate New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street, be aware that you are not allowed to bring backpacks, coolers, strollers or glass. There will also be an increase in security to ensure safe celebrations across town.
Catholic Charities serves up 53rd annual Christmas dinner
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and more than 100 volunteers served 1,000 Christmas meals to Southern Nevada's homeless and less fortunate. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @kmcannonphoto)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jeffrey Martin Added To Nevada's Black Book
Martin was one of four men convicted of theft and cheating at gambling in 2016 in Clark County District Court and sentenced to prison. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted unanimously Thursday to include Martin in the black book.
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Buffalo Wild Wings security video
Security footage from a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in southwest Las Vegas captured a driver who repeatedly crashed into a vehicle in a failed attempt to squeeze into a tight parking spot.
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like