Park City to consider for-hire driver changes |

Park City to consider for-hire driver changes

Jeff Dempsey, The Park Record

The Park City Council will consider changes to the city’s for-hire licensing requirements at its Thursday meeting, changes that would align city policy with the state of Utah. According to Business License Specialist Beth Higgins, the changes, which were made with businesses like Uber and Lyft in mind, would "ensure equitable treatment for our for-hire and other transportation businesses."

Higgins states that the recommendation would require several changes: first, Park City would require $1 million in insurance for vehicles with 15 passengers or fewer, which she said will align it with Utah’s new Transportation Network Company policy.

"This will align with TNC and airport regulations," she wrote. "This will require those drivers that do not go to the airport to carry a slightly higher level of insurance."

The recommendation would also allow Park City to accept a Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification background check rather than requiring one from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"This will only affect drivers that do not go to the airport," Higgins wrote. "This will more

closely align with TNC regulations."

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The new policy would also require drivers to show a history report from the Utah Driver’s License Division proving their "valid" status and would no longer require a vehicle inspection, beyond proof of valid vehicle registration.

Utah’s Transportation Network Company Registration Act was passed in May. On Aug. 26, Lyft was officially approved by Utah’s Department of Commerce under the new TNC policy.

"We welcome Lyft to the state of Utah and congratulate the company for successfully completing its registration," said Francine Giani, executive director for the department of commerce.

Utah defines a TNC as an entity that: uses a software application to connect a passenger to a transportation network driver providing transportation network services; is not a taxicab or motor carrier as defined in Utah Code; and does not own, control, operate, or manage the vehicle used to provide the transportation network services.

There are several differences between Utah’s TNC policy and Park City’s for-hire drivers policy. Current Park City Municipal Corporation policy states that for-hire drivers must have a Utah state driver’s license with a Z (taxi) or P (passenger) endorsement. TNC policy requires no endorsements, only a valid license. The flat $1 million insurance requirement would also be a change for Park City — the current policy is $750,000 for up to eight passengers and $1.5 million for 9-15.

The TNC also only requires drivers to be 19 years old, whereas Park City’s policy required a Z or P endorsement, and thus, a minimum age of 21.

The recommendation to align with TNC policy was made, Higgins said, because the TNC includes a preemption clause. It prevents Park City from licensing or regulating for-hire drivers unless they use the TNC standards.

"One result of the new law is that several of PCMC’s for-hire regulations are more stringent on the local, traditional taxi driver than required for TNCs," Higgins wrote. "Another result is a considerable amount of discord between traditional for-hire companies in Park City and the relatively new TNCs. Making Park City’s requirements parallel with those of the State of Utah seems to be the most reasonable and equitable way to resolve differences."

The Park City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19 at the City Council Chambers, 445 Marsac Ave.