News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Costello
For Immediate Release: June 15, 2017
Jobs & Transportation Bill Invites Rideshare to Last Frontier
JUNEAU – Ridesharing services such as Lyft and Uber will be able to operate in Alaska today thanks to legislation supported by Sen. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage.
House Bill 132 – like its companion Senate Bill 14 sponsored by Sen. Costello – was signed into law today. The bill enhances transportation and economic opportunities by bringing innovative companies to Alaska.
“Our state needs options for economic growth during a recession, and rideshare is a great source of jobs for Alaskans,” said Sen. Costello. “I’m glad this important bill became law today.”
The bill was needed to clarify state insurance and labor laws, and allow rideshare technology to come to Alaska. It defines rideshare drivers as independent contractors and exempts them from workers’ compensation, similar to taxi drivers and several other professions.
“Rideshare drivers use their own cars, and work when and where they want,” Sen. Costello said. “It’s a flexible form of employment and is one of the only jobs allowed by the military for active duty members.”
The bill also requires safety background checks, zero tolerance substance policies and numerous other safeguards.
“Public safety is a priority and we made sure important safeguards are in place,” said Sen. Costello. “Ridesharing will also improve safety on the roads – as they have in other states – by reducing the number of DUIs.”
Over 28,000 Alaskans already have a ridesharing apps installed on their phones.
“These services improve access to transportation for all Alaskans, but particularly for those living in underserved areas, the elderly and people with disabilities,” said Sen. Costello.
Ridesharing services are expected to begin operating in Alaska later this week.
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