Transportation

Councilmembers Again Delay Vote On Taxi And Uber Regulations

City of Houston wrestles with how to regulate competing vehicles for hire.

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The process to put new rules in place for taxicabs and other vehicles for hire has taken so long that Councilmember Michael Kubosh joked he could no longer remember what his original amendments to the ordinance contained. But Houston Mayor Annise Parker says despite the delays, she’d rather get the ordinance right than get it fast.

“It is clear that the future of vehicles for hire is going to be app-based, smart phones are going to drive a lot of this, technology is going to drive a lot of this. The way we regulate the cab industry is last-century technology and it’s being confronted with new-century technology,” Parker said.

The council will take up the ordinance and a slew of amendments next week. Councilmember Mike Laster says after months of negotiations, he finds it irregular that new amendments were submitted at the last minute with only the coming week for consideration by stakeholders.

“I know we’re all trying to figure out the best way forward, and I think we’re trying to find that in good will. But I’m very concerned that this is a major renovation and rewrite of a significant portion of our code of ordinances and I would think that all the parties need to have been privy to all of the information put forward,” Laster said.

Several of the new amendments heavily favor either the cab industry or the app-based services, which means many of them simply won’t get enough votes to pass.

 

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Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Executive Producer for News

Laurie Johnson leads daily news coverage for HPM. She helps reporters craft and sharpen their stories on tight deadlines, with the aim of getting the most relevant and current information into local newscasts. Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. She is...

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