Differentiating carsharing from transportation network companies regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission

The CarSharing Association would like to make a distinction between the “transportation network companies” now regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission and classic, round-trip carsharing services that have been legally and safely operating in California for more than ten years.  In classic carsharing, member-drivers have access to a vehicle that is owned, insured and maintained by a carsharing organization, is stored in a publicly-accessible “home spot” when not in use, and is available to be reserved and driven by a member-driver of the carsharing organization.  A transportation network company (TNC) uses a different model.  TNCs provide prearranged transportation services for compensation using an online-enabled application (app) or platform to connect passengers with drivers using their personal vehicles.  California Public Utilities Commission has imposed regulations on TNCs to ensure that public safety is not compromised by the operation of this new business model.  Among the requirements are provisions for criminal record checks for drivers, driver training, zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol, and stringent insurance requirements.  In classic carsharing, users are the drivers.  The carsharing organization provides the varying levels of collision damage insurance and third party liability insurance to protect the user against claims in the event of an accident.

Unlike newer forms of shared vehicle mobility, classic carsharing has proven social and environmental benefits that have been documented in academic research.

To see the press release from CPUC see http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M077/K132/77132276.PDF

To see the complete rules for TNCs see http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M077/K112/77112285.PDF