Thursday, January 17, 2019

Rick Szilagyi NELA NELA Executive Director Rick SzilagyiBoston — Lawmakers in Massachusetts are writing legislation to regulate TNCs, and the New England Livery Association (NELA) wants your voice to be among those offering support.

The association has set up a microsite, ridesafema.org, for the express purpose of getting people in touch with Massachusetts representatives to advocate for the riding public’s safety.

“One of the things we needed to do is have a grassroots effort, and the site was that effort to get people to contact their legislators,” says NELA Executive Director Rick Szilagyi. “We set it up just for that purpose, so we could direct people to a website that deals with this issue relative to Massachusetts legislation.”

With two industry-related bills—one of which is the association’s own HB-3702, written in tandem with the taxi industry it has been working closely with for more than a year—and insurance-related legislation currently in the House Finance Committee, Szilagyi anticipates that when the bill comes out of the House “probably in early March,” capitalizing on that timing with public input will be crucial.

“The deadline [for contacting legislators] is fluid, but now would be great because over the next week or two, the new bill will be out and that’s when it will be the foremost thing in legislators’ minds,” he says.

To make contacting a state senator or representative even easier, NELA is directing people to malegislature.gov/People/Search to find specific elected officials.

NELA’s three dominant goals are to see TNCs operate within the parameters of 24/7 commercial insurance, fingerprint-based background checks, and license plates that identify a TNC driver—“not an Uber sticker that anyone can buy on eBay,” according to Szilagyi, who welcomes any show of support as Massachusetts lawmakers mull over TNC regulations.

“Even getting one more person is huge,” he says. “That’s one more than we had today.”

The association’s next quarterly meeting will be March 15. Additionally, it will be holding an Education Day April 4.

Visit nelivery.org for more information.

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