- Associated Press - Friday, May 6, 2016

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Two New Jersey state senators said Friday they will introduce legislation to establish standards for the fast-growing ride-hailing industry.

Sens. Paul Sarlo and Joseph Kyrillos announced the bipartisan bill will be introduced Monday.

They said legislation is needed for consistency and safety for companies like Uber, Lyft and Gett that use a digital network to connect riders with drivers. Approximately 20,000 drivers in New Jersey already work for ride-hailing companies.

Uber recently reached agreements with Hackensack University Medical Center and the city of Newark.

Among the proposed standards would be background checks for drivers conducted by the state police. Drivers would also need to have $1.5 million in liability insurance coverage.

The legislation would authorize the state Motor Vehicle Commission and the Division of Consumer Affairs to inspect company records to ensure compliance.

The companies “often cross municipal and county boundaries, so the best way to allow them to provide services and protect customers is with statewide standards,” Kyrillos said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for Lyft said the company welcomed the legislation.

“New Jersey deserves a permanent statewide ridesharing framework that provides clarity for drivers and passengers,” Chelsea Wilson said. “We are pleased that a comprehensive ridesharing solution is moving through the legislative process.”

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