City scrambles to prepare for new moped, ride-sharing laws - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

City scrambles to prepare for new moped, ride-sharing laws

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

On New Year's Day, the city is supposed to be ready to roll with a new moped safety check program.

But as of Friday, it's still waiting for guidelines from the state. Without them, the city is stuck in neutral.

"The challenge will be the amount of time and developing the program to ensure that all the checks and balances are there," city Department of Customer Services director Sheri Kajiwara said.

The department can't select safety inspection stations until it gets the state's requirements for passing or failing a moped, which include specifications for different moped models. Thousands of mopeds will need safety checks.

"We need to certify those stations, and we need to train the applicants that are going to be performing those tasks to make sure that they can handle mopeds," Kajiwara said.

Her department is also responsible for carrying out the city's new ride-sharing and taxi law. Bill 36 takes effect January 15.

Under the new law, companies will compile background checks and other data. But Customer Services will be responsible for auditing the paperwork.

Before that happens, the city must finalize its administrative rules.

"How will we do these audits? How often will we do them? What's going to be required as part of that process? That all has yet to be defined," Kajiwara said.

Requirements are as detailed as the size, color and placement of decals for ride-sharing vehicles. 

Meanwhile, the new moped law (passed in the last legislative session) requires all Hawaii mopeds to have license plates. Customer Services will handle that, too.

"We'll be ordering it," Kajiwara said. "The question is, we don't know how many to even order."

Kajiwara said the two new laws mean added work for a department that's already busy with auto and bicycle registrations and cab driver certifications.

"I don't see how we can implement Bill 36 fully and take on the implementation of I don't know how many thousands of mopeds that will need to be processed by the January 1 deadline," she said.

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