Peabody award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is Senior Editor for Politics & Policy for WNYC News. She has previously served as Metro Editor, Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
New York Fines Peer Ride-Sharing Service
Monday, March 10, 2014 - 10:52 AM
New York's governor is cracking down on RelayRides, a peer-to-peer car sharing service that has become popular among younger, mostly urban residents.
The state's insurance commissioner has fined the service $200,000 for selling insurance without being licensed and for "misrepresenting to New Yorkers that they would not be liable for out-of-pocket expenses in the event the car is stolen or involved in an accident."
In addition to the fine, RelayRides has agreed not to conduct business in New York until it submits a business plan "that is no longer inconsistent with New York State insurance law."
Last May, New York directed RelayRides to cease operating in New York.
RelayRides, the AirBnb of cars, enables micro-entrepreneurs to profit from unused car time, giving non-car-owners access to cars. Its website says it operates "across the country, except New York." The service operates in New Jersey, Washington DC, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, and Miami, among other locales.
A statement on its website explaining the suspension of service in New York last May says:"Innovation, by its nature, does not always fit within existing structures"
CEO Andre Haddad added:
"While we feel that certain language used by officials mischaracterizes the situation, we have been actively working with State officials to bring peer-to-peer car sharing back to New York as soon as possible. As part of the process to bring back peer-to-peer car sharing and all of its benefits to New York, we introduced legislation at the end of last year's legislative session."