Skip to Content
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 3: Limitation of service to pre-arranged rides using a digital network; application for permit by transportation network company; background check clearance certificate for drivers; fees

Section 3. (a) All transportation network companies and transportation network drivers shall provide services in the form of a pre-arranged ride using a digital network. A driver providing transportation network services shall not solicit, accept, arrange or provide transportation in another manner, including cruising unless otherwise authorized by law.

(b) A transportation network company shall apply for a permit to be issued and annually renewed by the division. No transportation network company shall operate without a permit issued to it by the division.

(c) No application for a permit may be granted or renewed unless the division determines that the rendering of transportation network services by the applicant is consistent with the public interest. At a minimum, each applicant for a permit shall verify the following:

(i) that the applicant has an oversight process in place to ensure that the applicant and every transportation network driver using the transportation network company's digital network possesses adequate insurance coverage, as required by this chapter and section 228 of chapter 175, and otherwise complies with all laws, rules and regulations concerning transportation network vehicles and drivers;

(ii) that the applicant has an oversight process in place to ensure that each driver using the applicant's digital network has, pursuant to section 4, successfully completed a background check, maintains a valid background check clearance certificate, is a suitable driver and has a transportation network driver certificate;

(iii) that the digital network used by the applicant to pre-arrange rides employs a clear and conspicuous explanation of the total cost and pricing structure applicable to each pre-arranged ride before the ride begins;

(iv) that transportation network companies and drivers do not use excessive minimum or base rates;

(v) that the applicant has an oversight process in place to ensure that tolls incurred by a driver providing transportation network services through its digital network are paid at the commercial rate including the utilization of the electronic toll transponder issued pursuant to subsection (j) of section 2 and the data cross-reference pursuant to subsection (k) of said section 2;

(vi) that the applicant has an oversight process in place to ensure that the applicant and drivers using the applicant's digital network accommodate riders with special needs, including riders requiring wheelchair accessible vehicles, in all areas served by transportation network companies, comply with all applicable laws regarding nondiscrimination against riders or potential riders and ensure the accommodation of riders with special needs including, but not limited to, all applicable laws, rules and regulations relating to the accommodation of service animals;

(vii) that the applicant has a process in place to ensure that it shall: (1) maintain and update, pursuant to regulations promulgated by the division, a roster of each transportation network driver certified by the applicant to provide pre-arranged rides using the transportation network company's digital network; (2) upon request and with appropriate legal process, provide those rosters to the division, the registry of motor vehicles and to state and local law enforcement; (3) maintain and update those rosters as required by the division; (4) comply with all requests for information from the division regarding the roster, including verification of completion of a background check as required pursuant to clause (ii);

(viii) that the applicant has established a toll-free customer service hotline that shall be capable of responding to consumer, driver and rider questions and complaints and that the hotline number shall be conspicuously posted along with the hours of operation on the applicant's website and within the applicant's digital network application;

(ix) that the applicant has established procedures governing the safe pickup, transfer, and delivery of individuals with visual impairments and individuals who use mobility devices, including but not limited to wheelchairs, crutches, canes, walkers, and scooters; and

(x) that the applicant has an oversight process in place to ensure that transportation network drivers with vehicles registered outside of the commonwealth meet the requirements of this chapter.

(d) After obtaining the information required under clause (ii) of subsection (c) of section 4, the division shall determine whether the driver applicant has committed an offense that would disqualify the driver applicant from providing transportation network services, according to the division's rules, orders and regulations. The division shall determine if the driver applicant is suitable and, if determined to be suitable, shall provide the transportation network company and the driver applicant with a background check clearance certificate. The division shall conduct a background check pursuant to clause (ii) of subsection (c) of section 4 not less than annually. If the division finds that a driver is not suitable under the annual background check, the division shall notify the driver and each relevant transportation network company that the background check clearance certificate is revoked or suspended.

(e) The division shall calculate and the secretary of administration and finance shall determine, pursuant to section 3B of chapter 7, the cost associated with the division's review of an application for a transportation network company permit, for renewal of the permit and to issue background check clearance certificates. The division may charge the transportation network company a reasonable fee to cover the costs.