Letter: Support California S.B. 182

On behalf of the R Street Institute, I write to support Senate Bill 182, the Transportation Network Company (TNC) Single Business License Act.

We applaud this bill, which is a great example of legislation that will directly improve the lives of many working Californians by simplifying the regulatory process and reducing the number of redundant fees they must pay and licenses they must obtain. It will also encourage the growth of a new industry that does a great job serving consumers.

It’s unreasonable to expect drivers, who are independent contractors, to be licensed across the multiple cities they serve. This is especially true in California’s major urban centers, where a typical customer is likely to be picked up in one jurisdiction and dropped off in another. Drivers in the Bay Area and Los Angeles region might work in dozens of cities in any given day.

Driving for these companies is not a high-paid profession, and it can impose a costly burden on drivers if they need to not only pay multiple fees – but take time away from their workday to fill out paperwork. S.B. 182 is a proper use of state authority to rein in the power of local governments, whom often use their licensing and fee-granting authority to hobble emerging businesses. A single license can easily serve the needs of all cities.

These new business models require new regulatory approaches, and we believe this bill is a good example of how California’s state government can embrace changes that help make the state more accommodating toward private business.

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