Care needed for ride-sharing rules

Daily Editorial Board

Lawmakers and insurance companies are nearing an agreement with ride-sharing companies to make their services safer without driving them out of business.
 
Early last month, Minnesota legislators seemed poised to give the state the strictest regulations in the nation on services like Lyft and Uber. It would have required $1 million worth of coverage for drivers before they could begin to work.
 
“A vote in support of this bill is a vote to have Uber no longer operate in Minnesota,” a spokesman for the ride-sharing service said at a House committee meeting for the old proposal.
 
Thankfully, a national agreement between top insurance companies and ride-sharing services helped Minnesota lawmakers realize their initial proposal was too hastily designed. 
 
It’s true that ride-sharing companies have had incidents in which their insurance hasn’t been proper. And with peer-to-peer transportation services having inherently less regulation and accountability than publicly subsidized entities like Metro Transit, officials must use caution when legislating around new technology. 
 
For many University of Minnesota students, Lyft or Uber can provide safe rides home that are often quicker and more affordable than taxis. Ride-sharing is an innovative service perfectly tailored to younger demographics. 
 
As with any new technology, lawmakers seem to be imposing too-harsh regulations because of their fear of the unknown. We are pleased that Minnesota legislators kept an open mind throughout the session and have worked toward what seems like a fair compromise for the near future.