Uber and Lyft opponents are heading to Beacon Hill on Tuesday to push a bill that calls for heavier regulation of the ride-sharing companies.
Scott Solombrino, the president and CEO of Dav El Boston Coach, is expected to tesify and urge a boost in safety and regulatory compliances to level the playing field for taxi companies, luxury and ride-sharing drivers.
“We’re asking for some pretty basic stuff,” Solombrino said. “Standardized drug testing and fingerprinting aren’t too much to ask for, yet companies like Uber aren’t required to do it.”
He and other cabbie activists have called for stricter regulations against Uber, citing a 40 percent decrease in their services because of separate legal parameters. The bill calls for the public utilities department to have access to available criminal records for potential ride-sharing network drivers.
“The digital hitch hiker system is dramatically flawed and it’s time is come for people to wake up,” Solombrino said. “You see attacks, assaults, rapes, accidents, and fatalities, and where do those stories go? Nowhere. In our line of work, we are vetted by a system to prove that we’re honest drivers.”
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Solombrino said that the end goal for the bill is not to put ride-sharing companies out of business, but to make sure that they have to abide by the same rules regarding commercial insurance, overtime pay, workman’s compensation and the right to unionize.
“We want to make sure consumers are safe,” Solombrino said. “That’s our biggest concern. How do we make it safer for everybody and how do we even the playing field financially so they have the same financial hurdles that we have and the same regulatory hurdles? And as long as that’s happening, I think everybody’s going to be pretty happy.”
Uber and Lyft did not immediately return a request for comment.