Honolulu City Councilman Brandon Elefante has introduced a bill that proposes a new regulatory framework for Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing companies that rely on smartphone applications to connect passengers with drivers.

Unlike Bill 85 — another measure that the Council is considering that would force ride-hailing companies to comply with the same requirements as taxi companies — Bill 32 would regulate them separately as “transportation network companies.”

That’s what Uber representatives have urged the Council to do. But the company doesn’t like the details of Elefante’s proposal.

Honolulu City Council member Brandon Elefante.  1 apr 2015.  photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Honolulu City Councilman Brandon Elefante introduced a bill that would establish a framework for regulating Uber and Lyft. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Bill 32 would require Uber and Lyft drivers to receive city-issued certificates. To do so, they would have to pass a test showing they understand traffic laws and submit proof of a background check, among other requirements.

Uber spokeswoman Taylor Patterson said Tuesday that the bill would be costly to taxpayers and that it would make more sense for the city to permit ride-hailing companies instead of drivers.

“It’s a work in progress,” Elefante said Wednesday. “The most important thing is we have to make sure that there’s safety for the riders.”

Coincidentally, an Uber driver was charged this week with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.

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