Public Service Commission Special Meeting
June 27, 2018
On June 26, the AAR Public Policy team attended a Special Meeting of the Public Service Commission (PSC) in Montgomery to monitor for impacts on the real estate industry and property owners.
The Commission called the special meeting to allow discussion on the operating permits sought by Transportation Network Companies (TNC), such as Uber and Lyft, pursuant to the provisions of Alabama Legislative Act 2018-127.
At the meeting, it was disclosed that a meeting occurred on June 14, 2018 between Commission, Uber and Lyft representatives, along with the Alabama Attorney General's Office, to discuss some modifications to the regulations. Uber sought two changes from the provisions:
- To modify Rule TNC-3(1)(b) to remove reference to showing a photo of a TNC driver’s “top of shoulders.”
- Uber also asked for a temporary exemption of six months from Rule TNC-7 regarding safety inspections for any TNC driver who began providing services within the State of Alabama prior to July 1, 2018, and who completed a safety inspection in compliance with the ordinance requirements of the relevant municipality or municipalities in which he or she provided TNC services that were in effect prior to the July 1, 2018 effective date of Act 2018-127.
Lyft echoed Uber’s request for a temporary exemption on safety inspections.
At the Commission meeting, all three requests were granted, and Uber and Lyft will begin operating statewide on Sunday, July 1, 2018.
The PSC was formed in 1918 to regulate the railroad industry and has since evolved to regulate other utilities as well. Today, the Commission regulates electricity, natural gas utilities, telecommunications, private waste water utilities and motor carrier supervision. The Commission comprises three elected members: the president and two associate commissioners. The PSC’s mission statement states that the Commission exists to “ensure a regulatory balance between regulated companies and consumers in order to provide consumers with safe, adequate and reliable services at rates that are equitable and economical.”
The AAR Public Policy team will continue to monitor the regulatory agencies in the Capitol for potential impacts on REALTOR® members, the real estate industry and private property owners.