85R2901 JTS-F
  By: Schwertner S.B. No. 176
  relating to the regulation of transportation network companies;
  requiring an occupational permit; authorizing a fee.
         SECTION 1.  Subtitle C, Title 14, Occupations Code, is
  amended by adding Chapter 2402 to read as follows:
         Sec. 2402.001.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
               (1)  "Commission" means the Texas Commission of
  Licensing and Regulation.
               (2)  "Department" means the Texas Department of
  Licensing and Regulation.
               (3)  "Digital network" means the online-enabled
  application, software, website, or system offered or used by a
  transportation network company to connect passengers and drivers.
               (4)  "Passenger vehicle" means a motor vehicle designed
  to carry fewer than 16 passengers, including the driver.
  COMPANY. In this chapter, "transportation network company" means a
  corporation, sole proprietorship, or other entity that enables a
  passenger to prearrange a ride in a passenger vehicle with the
  driver of the vehicle exclusively through the company's digital
  network.  The term does not include an entity that provides, in
  addition to rides prearranged through a digital network:
               (1)  street-hail taxicab services; or
               (2)  limousine or other car services arranged by a
  method other than through a digital network.
         Sec. 2402.003.  CONTROLLING AUTHORITY. Notwithstanding any
  other provision of law, transportation network companies and
  drivers accessing a transportation network company's digital
  network are governed exclusively by this chapter. A municipality
  or other local entity may not:
               (1)  impose a tax on or require a license for a
  transportation network company or a driver who has access to a
  transportation network company's digital network; or
               (2)  subject a transportation network company or a
  driver who has access to a transportation network company's digital
  network to the municipality's or other local entity's rate, entry,
  operational, or other requirements.
         Sec. 2402.051.  PERMIT REQUIRED. (a)  A person may not
  operate a transportation network company in this state without
  obtaining and maintaining a permit issued under this chapter.
         (b)  The department shall issue a permit to each applicant
  that meets the requirements of this chapter and pays the fee
  required by Section 2402.052.
         Sec. 2402.052.  FEE. A transportation network company shall
  annually pay a fee to the department to maintain a permit under this
  chapter. The amount of the fee is:
               (1)  $10,000 for a transportation network company whose
  digital network is used by 50 or fewer drivers;
               (2)  $30,000 for a transportation network company whose
  digital network is used by 51-200 drivers;
               (3)  $75,000 for a transportation network company whose
  digital network is used by 201-1,000 drivers; and
               (4)  $125,000 for a transportation network company
  whose digital network is used by more than 1,000 drivers.
         Sec. 2402.053.  PERMIT APPLICATION. (a) An application for
  a transportation network company permit must be on a form
  prescribed by the department. The application must include
  information that meets the requirements of this chapter and
  information the commission by rule determines is necessary to
  determine the applicant's qualifications to adequately serve the
         (b)  The applicant shall notify the department of any
  material change in the information included in an application not
  later than the 10th calendar day after the date the change occurs.
  The department shall prescribe a form for the disclosure of
  material changes.
         Sec. 2402.054.  TERM; RENEWAL. (a) A permit issued under
  this chapter is valid for two years. The department shall prescribe
  the form and requirements necessary to apply for a renewal of a
         (b)  The department shall notify each person holding a permit
  under this chapter of the date of permit expiration and the amount
  of the fee required for permit renewal. The department shall send
  the notice not later than the 30th day before the date of the permit
         Sec. 2402.101.  DRIVER PREREQUISITES. (a) Before allowing
  an individual to act as a driver on the company's digital network, a
  transportation network company must:
               (1)  require the individual to submit an application to
  the company that includes information regarding the individual's
  address, age, driver's license, driving history, motor vehicle
  registration, motor vehicle liability insurance, and other
  information required by the company;
               (2)  conduct, or have a third party conduct, a local and
  national criminal background check for each individual that
  includes the use of:
                     (A)  a commercial multistate and
  multijurisdiction criminal records locator with primary source
  validation; and
                     (B)  the national sex offender registry database
  maintained by the United States Department of Justice or successor
  agency; and
               (3)  obtain and review the individual's driving record.
         (b)  A transportation network company may not permit to act
  as a driver on its digital network an individual who:
               (1)  has been convicted of:
                     (A)  more than three offenses classified by the
  Department of Public Safety as moving violations in the preceding
  three-year period; or
                     (B)  one of the following offenses in the
  preceding three-year period:
                           (i)  evading arrest or detention under
  Section 38.04, Penal Code;
                           (ii)  reckless driving under Section
  545.401, Transportation Code;
                           (iii)  driving without a valid driver's
  license under Section 521.025, Transportation Code; or
                           (iv)  driving with an invalid driver's
  license under Section 521.457, Transportation Code;
               (2)  has been convicted, in the preceding five-year
  period, of driving while intoxicated under Section 49.04 or 49.045,
  Penal Code;
               (3)  has been convicted at any time of:
                     (A)  fraud;
                     (B)  a sexual offense;
                     (C)  use of a motor vehicle to commit:
                           (i)  a felony;
                           (ii)  a crime involving property damage;
                           (iii)  theft;
                           (iv)  an act of violence; or
                           (v)  an offense of making a terroristic
                     (D)  an offense listed in Article 42A.054(a), Code
  of Criminal Procedure; or
                     (E)  invasive visual recording under Section
  21.15, Penal Code;
               (4)  is a match in the national sex offender registry
               (5)  does not possess a valid driver's license;
               (6)  does not possess proof of registration or
  financial responsibility for the motor vehicle that will be used to
  provide rides prearranged through the company's digital network; or
               (7)  is younger than 19 years of age.
         Sec. 2402.102.  DRIVER DRUG AND ALCOHOL USE POLICY. (a) A
  transportation network company shall adopt and implement a policy
  prohibiting drivers from using or being under the influence of
  drugs or alcohol when the driver is logged on to the company's
  digital network, regardless of whether the driver is providing a
  ride prearranged through the network.
         (b)  A transportation network company shall post on the
  company's Internet website:
               (1)  notice of the drug and alcohol policy; and
               (2)  procedures to report a complaint about a driver
  with whom a passenger was matched through the digital network and
  who the passenger reasonably suspects was using or was under the
  influence of drugs or alcohol during the course of the trip.
         Sec. 2402.103.  DISCRIMINATION POLICY. (a) A transportation
  network company shall adopt and implement a policy prohibiting
  driver discrimination against passengers and individuals
  requesting rides using the company's digital network based on:
               (1)  a characteristic protected from discrimination
  under state or federal law, including race, color, national origin,
  religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, or gender
  identity or expression; or
               (2)  the geographic location of a person requesting a
         (b)  A policy adopted under Subsection (a) must include
  provisions prohibiting drivers from:
               (1)  refusing to accept a ride request based on the
  geographic location of the person requesting a ride if the
  passenger's destination is 30 miles or less from the passenger's
  departure point;
               (2)  refusing to accommodate service animals; and
               (3)  charging an additional fee or higher rate based on
  a factor described by Subsection (a).
         (c)  A transportation network company shall post on the
  company's Internet website:
               (1)  notice of the discrimination policy; and
               (2)  procedures to report a complaint about a driver
                     (A)  accepted or declined a person's ride request;
                     (B)  the person reasonably suspects discriminated
  against the person on a basis described by Subsection (a).
         Sec. 2402.104.  POLICY ENFORCEMENT. (a)  On receipt of a
  complaint alleging a violation by a driver of the drug and alcohol
  policy under Section 2402.102 or the discrimination policy under
  Section 2402.103, the transportation network company shall:
               (1)  conduct an investigation into the reported
               (2)  immediately suspend the driver's access to the
  company's digital network for the duration of the investigation;
               (3)  permanently suspend the driver's access if the
  company determines that the driver has violated the policy.
         (b)  The transportation network company shall maintain
  records relevant to a complaint for a period of at least two years
  after the date the complaint is received.
         Sec. 2402.105.  NO STREET HAILS. Unless authorized by other
  law, including Section 215.004, Local Government Code, a driver
  authorized to access a transportation network company's digital
  network may not solicit or accept street hails.
  transportation network company shall, before a passenger enters a
  driver's vehicle, provide the passenger with:
               (1)  the applicable rates being charged for the ride;
               (2)  the option to receive an estimated fare.
         Sec. 2402.152.  ELECTRONIC RECEIPT. Within a reasonable
  period of time following the completion of a ride, a transportation
  network company shall transmit an electronic receipt to the
  passenger that lists:
               (1)  the origin and destination of the ride;
               (2)  the total time and distance of the ride; and
               (3)  an itemization of the total fare paid, if any.
  transportation network company's digital network must display to a
  passenger, before the passenger enters the vehicle:
               (1)  a picture of the driver; and
               (2)  the vehicle's license plate number.
  transportation network company shall provide passengers an
  opportunity to indicate whether they require a
  wheelchair-accessible vehicle. If a transportation network company
  is unable to arrange wheelchair-accessible service, the company
  shall direct the passenger to an alternate provider of
  wheelchair-accessible service, if available.
         (b)  The department may impose a fee, not to exceed $20,000
  annually, on transportation network companies that have more than
  200 drivers and that do not provide, at a minimum level determined
  by commission rule, wheelchair-accessible service. The department
  shall remit the fees to the comptroller for deposit in a trust fund
  outside the state treasury to be held by the comptroller and
  administered by the department to provide grants to transportation
  network companies to provide wheelchair-accessible service.
         (c)  A grant distributed under Subsection (b):
               (1)  may be in an amount not to exceed $15,000; and
               (2)  may be distributed only to a company that meets the
  minimum level of wheelchair-accessible service as determined by
  commission rule.
         Sec. 2402.155.  RECORDS. A transportation network company
  shall maintain:
               (1)  individual ride records for at least two years
  after the date the ride was provided; and
               (2)  driver records at least until the second
  anniversary of the date on which a driver's activation on the
  company's digital network has ended.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.