Uber and Lyft to enact regulations in March

Taylor Kerns

Transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft operating within Ohio will be subject to new regulations starting in March.

Governor Kasich signed Ohio House Bill 237 in December. Under the legislation, transportation companies are required to perform background checks on drivers, provide customers with receipts, and obtain an annual license from the Public Utilities Commission. The bill also sets new minimum insurance coverage requirements.

Uber and Lyft both service the Kent area. Brian Weybrecht, who drives for both services, said the new regulations sound similar to practices already in place.

“I’m pretty sure they already did two background checks,” Weybrecht said about Uber. “And I have full coverage.”

Weybrecht said he started driving for both Uber and Lyft in September, and that even then, the requirements were stringent. Lyft required a full vehicle inspection and in-person training with a “Lyft mentor” in Cleveland.

“I love it,” Weybrecht said. “I quit my 20 dollar an hour job to do this full time.”

“We extend our deepest gratitude to the many legislators … who championed this issue and most importantly, to the thousands of riders and drivers who have supported Uber Ohio over the years,” a press release from Uber read.

“I’d hope they have to do background checks. I had a driver once, and I swear he seemed like he was drunk,” Trent Maruschak, a sophomore entrepreneurship student, said. “I definitely feel better with that being the law.”

Taylor Kearns is a parking and transportation reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].