Sticking points remain on Dallas’ proposed car-for-hire rules, as the City Council prepares to vote next month on a new ordinance to regulate taxicabs, limos and app-based companies such as Uber and Lyft.
Several council members raised questions Monday at a transportation committee meeting over insurance requirements. And others expressed concerns about nuances, including an effort to encourage more environmentally friendly vehicles.
But it appears the city’s months-long effort to overhaul its transportation-for-hire rules will soon be complete.
Some opponents of the proposed rules conceded they probably don’t have the votes to stop the measure from moving forward. Supporters say that though the proposal isn’t perfect, it represents a compromise that most industry stakeholders can live with.
“It’s as fair and balanced as we could possibly make it at this point,” said council member Sandy Greyson, who has guided much of the city’s work on the issue.
Dallas has wrestled with car-for-hire rules for about a year, after an ordinance that could have driven out app-based companies almost slipped past the council unnoticed. Since then, council members have debated issues including permitting and fare regulations.
Much of the disagreement Monday centered on proposed insurance requirements.
Although some have pushed for around-the-clock commercial insurance — which taxis now must have — the ordinance would require such coverage only when operators are available to accept riders or when they are picking up or carrying riders.
That’s meant to keep insurance costs low enough to allow app-based companies to operate while requiring substantial coverage on behalf of paying passengers who could be hurt in accidents.
Dallas City Council will take this up one week after San Antonio does. It’s been a busy year for this sort of thing, that’s for sure. I don’t know enough about either of these proposed ordinances to know how exactly they compare to Houston, but as far as I am aware there has been no rumbling by Lyft about pulling out of those markets. Make of that what you will. One also has to wonder at this point if last week’s Uber shitstorm will affect the willingness of councils in places like Dallas and San Antonio to pass these ordinances. We’ll see. Unfair Park has more.