Ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber took a step toward to becoming legal in Alabama, as the Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee approved a bill on Thursday that will now head to the full Senate for further consideration.
The would create a ridesharing network across the state for companies and place it under the control of the Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC). A single permit issued by the PSC would then allow the companies to operate statewide under uniform regulations rather than requiring each municipality to file for their own permits and regulations.
Alabama is one of only six states that lacks statewide ridesharing regulations. If passed, the bill would allow Alabamians from not only the larger cities, but also suburban and rural communities across the state to take advantage of all benefits the ridesharing industry produces.
Currently, ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft operate in only 15 of the larger cities across the state —Auburn, Birmingham, Daphne, Gardendale, Gulf Shores, Homewood, Hoover, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Mountain Brook, Pelham, Tuscaloosa, Trussville and Vestavia Hills — but due to a lack of comprehensive, statewide regulations aren’t able to operate in all parts of the state.