Legislation was reintroduced in the Senate this week to ensure federal employees are reimbursed for using ride sharing services such as Uber or Lyft.
The bill is being reintroduced by Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Cory Booker (D-NJ). It was previously introduced in the Senate last year.
Known as the Modernizing Government Travel Act (S. 78), the bill would direct the General Services Administration to make it easier for federal employees to use additional, modern modes of travel while on official government business. In addition to Uber or Lyft, it would also apply to bike sharing services, something now available in many U.S. cities. The bill’s sponsors say that it would help save taxpayers money since many of these ride sharing services prove to be more economical than traditional transportation methods.
“Millions of Americans have saved themselves time and money by using new innovative travel services such as Uber, Lyft, and bikeshare,” Sen. Lee said, “but current federal travel reimbursement regulations have made it difficult for federal employees to use these new technologies while on the job. This bill would require the GSA to clarify the availability of these options so our federal employees can increase efficiency and decrease costs.”
The legislation represents a continuing push in Congress to ensure traveling federal workers can use ride sharing as part of their routine modes of travel. Companion legislation to the Senate bill was also recently passed by the House.