‘Let’s Ride’ doesn’t apply to boats, USCG says

Alaska’s Let’s Ride Alaska Act, House Bill 132, the bill that allows ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft, does not apply to waterways, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a press release.

“Despite the bill’s concessions for allowing ridesharing services to operate within Alaska, boat owners are not permitted to provide charter services as an Uninspected Passenger Vessel (UPV) unless they meet pre-existing standards of safety and conduct,” the Coast Guard said.

Safety requirements for UPVs relate to licensing, watch standing, vessel documentation, mandatory drug testing regime, casualty reporting, required charts and electronic equivalencies, navigation lights and sound signals, life saving and firefighting equipment, safety orientation and instruction, and pollution prevention, the Coast Guard said. Any UPV operator, agent, master, owner or individual in charge found in violation of the applicable laws and regulations may be liable for a $5,000 civil penalty per incident.

“Exploring Alaska’s beautiful waterways is part of the adventure of living here,” said Rear Adm. Michael McAllister, Coast Guard 17th District commander. “The Coast Guard wants to ensure boaters are doing that in the safest way possible.”

For more information concerning Uninspected Passenger Vessels, contact Coast Guard 17th District Inspections at 907-463-2808 or 907-463-2812 or visit the Coast Guard Passenger Vessel Safety Program page at https://www.uscg.mil/pvs/UPV.asp.