Transportation Network Companies
Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 100 on May 29, 2017. The bill establishes a uniform, statewide approach to regulating and permitting transportation network companies at the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).
TDLR Executive Director Brian Francis states, “We recognize the importance of HB 100 to all Texans and will work diligently to create a regulatory program that everyone can be proud of. We are going to evaluate and benchmark our program against other states administering similar transportation network company programs and learn from their failures and successes. We will ensure TDLR’s program incorporates their best practices, or, as we like to say ‘position TDLR to employ the next practices.’ I encourage you to sign up for TDLR’s email notifications so you can stay current on the program’s progress and development.”
Transportation Network Companies Program FAQs
1. What does House Bill 100 do?
House Bill 100 (85R) establishes a uniform, statewide approach to regulating and permitting transportation network companies (TNCs) through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).
2. What is a transportation network company?
A TNC is a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or other entity that, for compensation, enables a passenger to prearrange with a driver, exclusively through the entity’s digital network, a digitally prearranged ride. The term does not include an entity that provides:
- street-hail taxicab services;
- limousine or other car services arranged by a method other than through a digital network;
- shared expense carpool or vanpool arrangements; or
- a type of ride service for which:
- The fee received by the driver does not exceed the driver’s costs of providing the ride; or
- the driver receives a fee that exceeds the driver’s costs associated with providing the ride but makes not more than three round-trips per day between the driver’s or passenger’s place of employment and the driver’s or passenger’s home.
3. When did House Bill 100 (85R) take effect?
On May 29, 2017, Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 100. The law went into effect immediately upon his signature.
4. Does that mean existing transportation network companies can operate now in Texas without a local or state permit?
House Bill 100 (85R) provides that, beginning on May 29, 2017, any municipal or other local ordinance or policy related to TNCs or drivers authorized to access TNCs digital networks is void and has no effect. However, this law does not prevent airport owners and governmental entities with jurisdiction over cruise ship terminals from imposing regulations, including a reasonable fee, on a TNC that provides prearranged rides to or from an airport or cruise ship terminal.
An existing TNC operating under a local or municipal ordinance or policy may continue to operate until its application for a TDLR TNC permit has been approved or denied.
5. When can a transportation network company apply for a TDLR permit to operate in Texas?
TDLR expects rules for TNCs to be effective November 1, 2017. To continue operating as a TNC, a company will need to apply for a TDLR permit no later than December 1. We anticipate TNC applications will be available in October 2017.
6. When will TDLR adopt rules?
In the coming weeks, TDLR will begin the rulemaking process and reach out to stakeholders and consumers to get their input and hear their thoughts and concerns regarding transportation network companies. TDLR’s rulemaking process provides for public notice, public comment, and total transparency.
TDLR anticipates publishing rules for the TNC program in the Texas Register on July 28, 2017, and adopting rules no later than September 29, 2017. Based on this timeline, we expect the TNC rules to take effect on November 1, 2017.
7. Are transportation network company drivers required to get a permit or license from TDLR?
No, TNC drivers do not need a permit or license from TDLR. However, drivers must be approved by a TNC to drive for that company in accordance with state law.
8. What should I do if I have a complaint about a transportation network company driver?
Generally, consumers may direct issues or complaints about a driver to the TNC. In addition, House Bill 100 specifically provides that consumer complaints regarding a suspected violation of the TNC’s intoxicating substance policy may be made directly to the TNC through its Internet website.
9. What should I do if I have a complaint about a transportation network company?
Consumer complaints about a TNC operating in Texas can be sent to TDLR at: https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/Complaints
10. How do I stay up-to-date about TDLR’s transportation network companies program?
Subscribe to TDLR’s email notifications and receive the latest TNC program updates.