CPUC Adopts Rules For Clean Miles Standard Program

In 2018 Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 1014, which created a new California Clean Miles Standard (CMS) Program aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from rideshare services provided by transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft and other transportation providers. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted regulations setting Clean Miles Standard targets and goals in 2022, and this week the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued Decision 24-03-001 to implement the first phase of the CMS program for TNCs.


The CMS program will initially only apply to larger TNCs, defined as providing at least five million vehicle miles of transportation services in a given calendar year. Small TNCs can seek exemption through an annual filing at the CPUC. CMS regulations for autonomous vehicle (AV) companies will be considered in a future phase of the proceeding, and the CPUC reserved the possibility of applying the CMS to charter-party carriers (e.g. airport limousines) at some point in the future. To avoid unintended consequences, CMS data collection requirements will also exclude wheelchair accessible vehicles.

Protecting Low- and Moderate-Income Drivers

Recognizing that the CMS program’s central purpose of increasing the use of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by rideshare companies could hurt drivers, SB 1014 directed the CPUC to “ensure minimal negative impact on low-income and moderate-income drivers.” To accomplish this, the Decision authorizes creation of the Drivers Assistance Program administered by a third-party Program Administrator and funded by a CMS regulatory fee collected by the TNCs. The Drivers Assistance Program will provide eligible drivers financial incentives and other assistance to help them lease or purchase a ZEV and pay for EV charging services. The Program Administrator will be chosen through a request for proposals process administered (under the CPUC’s supervision) by Uber.

GHG Plans and Data Reporting

The Decision requires the regulated TNCs to file an Interim GHG Plan initially, followed by a Full GHG Plan after the Phase 2 CMS decision, and every two years going forward. Per statutory requirements, the GHG Plans will include proposals on how to meet targets and goals for reducing GHG emissions by increasing use of ZEVs, and increasing passenger miles in proportion to overall vehicle miles.

Each regulated TNC and the program administrator will provide quarterly and annual data reports to enable the CPUC to track progress toward program goals. Reported data will track requirements already adopted in the CARB regulations, plus additional information on EV charging, fee collection, and administration of the Drivers Assistance Program.

More detail on the above can be found in the Decision and its attachments.

Contact: Lynn Haug