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Michiganians are in need of safe, affordable, reliable and convenient transportation options. Many already benefit from the innovative options provided by Transportation Network Companies like Lyft and Uber. For Michigan to continue to benefit from TNCs, common sense legislation should be passed by the state Senate to ensure access to safe and accessible ride-sharing options.

The Senate Regulatory Reform Committee is reviewing a package of bills that would create a statewide framework for ride-sharing companies operating within the state of Michigan. While common-sense regulation is needed to ensure proper safety for our residents, it must not overregulate the industry and debilitate TNCs from being able to continue to operate in our state. Too many people rely on the safe rides, and drivers are benefiting from the opportunity to earn needed income.

A recent study from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, found ride-sharing is affording a positive impact across the country, reducing DUIs and providing people with safer options rather than choosing to drive if they are planning to consume alcohol. TNC companies can help ensure that a safe and reliable ride home is always within reach of our patrons.

In addition to providing safer and more accessible transportation options, TNC’s afford many people the ability to start their own business or to earn extra income separate from their primary job, simply by driving when it works for them. Drivers have the ability to set their own schedules, thereby creating the flexibility to attend to family obligations and full-time employment. A recent national survey conducted by Lyft, indicates that over 25 percent of drivers also own a business and 70 percent of those business owners say earnings from Lyft driving allow them to continue to operate their business.

Michigan is on the rise economically, and we need this trend to continue. Our industries are drawing business and personal travelers into our local communities. These customers are able to spend more time and money in our local businesses while knowing that TNCs will be the solution for a safe and affordable transportation at the end of the day.

The Senate Regulatory Reform committee should pass the Transportation Network Company Act so that Michigan can astutely oversee the TNC industry while providing Michigan residents and travelers with an easily accessible and safe transportation option.

Scott Ellis, executive director

Michigan Licensed Beverage Association

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