Telecommunications/Technology

Senate quashes ‘anti-Uber’ bill, sends it back for review

Following the vote, Senate Presidend Eduardo Bhatia asked for the bill to be reconsidered in committee. Following the vote, Senate Presidend Eduardo Bhatia asked for the bill to be reconsidered in committee.

A bill that seeks to establish public policy and regulate the operation of mobile application-based transportation network companies, such as San Francisco’s Uber, was struck down Monday on the Senate floor in a 13-11 vote.

Bill 1209, authored and introduced last year by Sen. Antonio Fas-Alzamora, sought to curb the arrival of these types of businesses, known as TNCs for short, which allow consumers to submit a trip request, which is routed to crowd-sourced taxi drivers.

A TNC, such as Uber, is a company that uses an online-enabled platform to connect passengers with drivers using their personal, non-commercial, vehicles, according to an industry description. TNCs develop a computing platform that creates an online marketplace in which a driver and car owner registered with a company may offer their own labor and car to people who request a ride.

The measure went down for a vote Monday, after being fast-tracked through the Senate’s Tourism, Culture, Recreation and Sports Committee, which did not open it for public analysis at a hearing.

Following the majority decision to stop the bill, Senate President Eduardo Bhatia asked for it to be reconsidered, a move supported by Sen. Jorge Suárez-Cáceres. Consequently, the measure was returned to the Committee for further review.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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