Pennsylvania Commuting: What you need to know

The state of Pennsylvania encourages ridesharing and use of public transit for conservation and environmental reasons and has enacted insurance and tax incentives to stimulate it.
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Pennsylvania law (55 PA Stat. Sec. 695.1) defines a "ridesharing vehicle" as one:
• Holding not more than 15 persons and driven by a driver who is not engaged in transportation as a business;
• Owned and operated by an employer and used to transport employees to or from their place of work; or
• Owned by a public or nonprofit organization to transport their clients.
Carpools and vanpools are exempt from special insurance, special equipment, and special accident reporting requirements that apply to commercial vehicles (common carriers), such as buses and taxis. Additionally, ridesharing vehicles are not subject to public utility commission regulations.
Pennsylvania law provides that an employer is liable for injuries to passengers or others resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle only if the vehicle is owned or leased by the employer, and not simply because the employer provides information, incentives, or encouragement to employees to participate in ridesharing.
Provisions in an insurance policy denying coverage for a commercial purpose may not be made applicable to a ridesharing vehicle.
The Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act covers the driver of a company-owned or leased vehicle but it does not apply to the passengers (i.e., employers are not liable for the coverage of rider-employees while commuting to and from work unless the employees were on a job-related errand or were paid for travel time and reimbursed for travel expenses) (55 PA ...

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