Under Colorado law, the public utilities commission (PUC) regulates transportation network companies, which are commonly known as ridesharing companies, and the services they provide to ensure that the services are provided in a safe manner and that the drivers are financially responsible. Prior to the act, ridesharing companies were exempt from regulation if they provided services to a school, a school district, the federal government, a state, a political subdivision of a state, or a tax-exempt entity. The act removes this exemption.
The act also requires ridesharing companies that provide school-related services and are paid by a school or school district to:
- Enter into a contract that includes safety provisions for student transportation;
- Use a technology-enabled integrated solution that provides end-to-end visibility using the global positioning system for the transportation network company, the student's legal guardian, and the person that scheduled the ride;
- Ensure that each driver providing the service receives training in mandatory reporting requirements, safe driving practices, first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, education on special considerations for transporting students with disabilities, emergency preparedness, and safe pick-up and drop-off procedures; and
- Not use a driver who has been convicted of or pled guilty or nolo contendere to certain offenses.
The PUC is required to coordinate with the department of education to promulgate rules implementing minimum safety standards for transportation network companies when providing services provided under a contract with a school or school district.
A ridesharing company must notify the commission, the school or school district, and the student's legal guardian of any safety or security incidents that involve providing services for students to or from a school, school-related activities, or school-sanctioned activities. The commission is directed to promulgate rules implementing this requirement. In addition, the rules must require a ridesharing company to report information related to driver background checks, insurance coverage, and data reporting, consistent with the type of service provided, as it relates to service for students.
The PUC must review and, if necessary, update the rules once every three years.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)