Having a uniform statewide set of rules will allow more Louisiana consumers to benefit from ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft

After three years of trying, the effort to expand Uber and Lyft statewide in Louisiana may hinge on one seemingly arcane point: Which state agency should regulate the ride-hailing services?


Backers of the services favor the state Department of Transportation and Development, and even say they would rather see the bill die than yield on that point.

DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson said he is fine with assuming the oversight. "I don't have a problem with it coming to us," Wilson said.

Critics insist Uber and Lyft should be under the Louisiana Public Service Commission, which already regulates some taxicabs in the state. "It ought to be under the Public Service Commission," said Foster Campbell, a member of the PSC.

"We are in the regulation business," Campbell said. "DOTD doesn't regulate anyone."

The measure, House Bill 575, cleared the House 92-0 on April 29 and, for the first time, has won approval in the Senate Judiciary A Committee, where it was killed in 2017 and 2018.

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