Several bills seeking to impose regulatory requirements on transportation network companies (TNC) were heard at the February 11th Transportation Committee meeting. Bills 85(Relating to Taxicabs) and 7(Relating to Taxicabs) attracted considerable discussion, with Bill 85 being amended to a Committee Draft 1. Bill 85, CD1 will be scheduled for a public hearing and further discussion by the City Council on February 17, 2016.
Bill 85, CD1 expands the definition of “taxicab companies” to include TNCs such as Uber and Lyft who act as intermediaries between passengers and drivers for hire. Other provisions of the bill also include prohibiting the use of GPS tracking systems to calculate fares, prohibits drivers without a taxicab driver’s certificate and license from transporting passengers, and limits the use of “surge pricing” to not more than twice the normal fare and between the hours of 10 pm to 5 am only. Bill 7 addresses the need for mandatory background checks, and examines taxi drivers’ criminal offense or traffic violations from up to ten years ago, and was deferred in committee. Both bills will likely continue to generate considerable discussion; copies of supporting/opposing testimonies are posted on the City’s Docushare website under the bill numbers (Bill 83, CD1 – under 2015 introductions, and Bill 7 under 2016 introductions).