CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The House of Delegates today overwhelmingly approved a bill that will allow transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft, to operate in West Virginia.
House Bill 4228 passed on a 94-4 vote. The bill will go into effect July 1. In addition to allowing these types of companies to do business in the state, the bill also establishes guidelines for their operations.
“This bill opens West Virginia up to a business model that has proven very popular in other states,” said House Majority Leader Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan, who is lead sponsor of the legislation. “There are a whole host of benefits that can come with introducing this service to our state, including creating jobs and extra income for our residents, and helping to reduce drunk driving in our state.”
In addition to Cowles, the bill was sponsored by Finance Committee Chairman Eric Nelson (R-Kanawha) and Delegates Brad White (R-Kanawha), John Shott (R-Mercer), Paul Espinosa (R-Jefferson), Gary Howell (R-Mineral), Jill Upson (R-Jefferson), Patsy Trecost (D-Harrison), Doug Reynolds (D-Cabell), Marty Gearheart (R-Mercer) and Danny Hamrick (R-Harrison).
“In addition to providing jobs, this bill will enhance tourism and business travel in our state,” Nelson said. “This service has become so popular that visitors to our state expect it to be available when they come here. Passing this bill will open up West Virginia to the future of transportation.”
“This bill will be a true benefit to West Virginia residents and visitors,” said House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha. “We had hoped to get this bill passed last year, but needed more time to work out several key issues, including concerns regarding insurance, Division of Motor Vehicles registration and how the bill would affect taxi companies. Fortunately we were able to resolve those issues through our interim committee process, and I feel the legislation we passed today will provide a boost to our economy and provide additional transportation options for our citizens.”
House Bill 4228 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.