By Eric M. Johnson
California Governor Jerry Brown signed new insurance requirements on ridesharing companies into law on Wednesday, but the regulations come at a far lower cost to the industry than previously written into the bill, officials said.
Companies such as Lyft, Sidecar and UberX, which is a part of black-car service Uber, allow passengers to summon paid rides using apps on their smartphones and have gained in popularity in dozens of U.S. cities over the past few years.
But they face opposition from taxi companies that argue the upstarts do not face the same stringent regulations as do traditional cabs, and insurance companies want ridesharing drivers to carry more expensive insurance policies.
The law requires ridesharing companies’ insurance to cover drivers from the moment they turn on their app, not just from when they accept a ride on their app, according to information from the office of California Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, who championed the bill.