The head of the Nevada Transportation Authority says he expects to see Uber and Lyft cars operating in Nevada sometime in September.
Andy Mackay made the statement after the Legislative Commission approved regulations for managing the transportation services.
He and business and Industry Director Bruce Breslow assured lawmakers they will comply with the language of the statute directing the authority to issue permits to operate within 30 days after a valid application is received.
Lawmakers “pre-approved” the regulations Monday but the authority must follow that up by formally approving them Sept. 11. Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, questioned Mackay after he was told the authority intended to wait until that final approval before issuing permits to pick up passengers.
“The bill dictates that you shall issue a permit within 30 days,” he said. “They can operate without regulations as long as they meet requirements.”
He was joined by Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson.
“It was the intention of this legislature that (Transportation Network Company) drivers would be on the road by this summer,” said Roberson, R-Las Vegas. “How quickly do you expect your agency will be able to approve these applications. I’m hearing from constituents, hearing from voters saying where are the TNC’s.”
“As soon as possible for not more than 30 days,” Breslow said.
Mackay pointed out that, as of Monday, no companies had filed applications to operate in Nevada but that, with pre-approval of the regulations, he expects applications from at least the big companies, Uber and Lyft, in the near future.
The comments came at the end of an hour-long discussion of the proposed regulations including of the application fees that, for the biggest companies, will be $500,000.
But Mackay said the money to operate the regulatory scheme will come from the 1 percent of Nevada revenue each of those companies will pay the state. He said that will cover the estimated $700,000 a year it will cost for the eight employees he needs to hire. He told the commission if the money raised by that fee is more than they need, it can be adjusted downward by lawmakers.
Lawmakers were told there still are a number of unanswered questions about the TNC program including whether drivers will have to purchase state and local business licenses.