California state workers who want to use transportation and lodging networks — known in some circles as the "sharing economy" — can now do so for official government business under the state's travel policy, according to the Department of General Services.
In recent memos, the California Department of Human Resources outlines how the state is enacting the provisions of AB 229, legislation signed last year prohibiting the state from disallowing use online services such as Uber, Lyft or Airbnb. The rule is effective through 2018.
"The state is exploring various options to address the process of how employees may book these services, however, until such time as these services can be integrated into the state’s travel system, all Transportation Network Company and Short-Term Rental reservations must be made using their proprietary applications," CalHR wrote in a memo last month to the state's accounting and budget officers.
As with other types of approved travel, state employees using a transportation network service or a short-term rental pay overages if the lodging or travel exceeds the applicable state rate.
"DGS employees at headquarters in West Sacramento recently received a briefing from representatives of the ride-sharing company Lyft, while Uber will pay DGS headquarters a visit in the next few weeks," DGS wrote on its blog Jan. 22.