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Committee recommends taxicab agreements, ordinance

Thursday, June 4, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

The City Council Mobility Committee voted 2-1 Wednesday to recommend three proposed taxicab franchise renewal agreements and an ordinance that would substantially change the way the city regulates taxicabs to Council ahead of today’s votes on all four items. Council Member Don Zimmerman voted against the motion, saying that he couldn’t support it due to concerns with some of the proposals, but that he hopes Council will be able to address them before voting on the items. Council Member Ann Kitchen, who chairs the committee, said there are a couple of provisions that she will likely propose amendments to before Council votes. The regulatory changes, as written, would increase accessibility requirements for taxicab fleets, remove a requirement that permit holders be sponsored by a taxicab franchise and make issuance of future permits to franchises contingent on those franchises meeting certain performance measures, among other changes. The proposed five-year franchise agreements would require that the franchises use a computerized dispatch system, provide fifty additional chauffeur’s permits to each franchise in the first year of its agreement and remove the current limit on the number of permits franchises can hold, among other changes.

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