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Dallas writes a letter to the Lege about Lyft and Uber

They would like for the Lege to not overrule them on regulating these transportation network companies.


Dallas city leaders, writing to House Speaker Joe Straus, have underlined their opposition to a bill that would create statewide rules for “transportation network companies” like Uber and Lyft.

Mayor Mike Rawlings and two City Council members wrote Tuesday in a letter to Straus and Dallas-area state lawmakers that the city still has concerns about the legislation, which would effectively wipe out its lengthy process to craft car-for-hire regulations.

“We are very concerned that [the bill] will erode the fair and level playing field we believe we have achieved in Dallas by subjecting … providers – all of which are more similar than different – to vastly different levels of regulation,” the trio wrote.


The bill offered by Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall, has been closely watched this session, especially since huge sums of money have been poured into lobbying efforts on both sides of the debate.


Dallas’ new car-for-hire rules, which go into effect Thursday, actually represented a compromise between Uber, Lyft, limo drivers and independent cab companies.

Officials said a key to that agreement was applying the same basic set of rules to all the different car-for-hire services. That’s different from the proposed legislation, which would create new rules just for the “transportation network companies.”

“TNCs are far more similar to than they are different from traditional taxis and limos,” Rawlings wrote in the letter, co-authored by City Council members Vonciel Jones Hill and Sandy Greyson.

See here, here, and here for the background, and the link above for the letter. Rep. Paddie has said he’s going to continue to tweak his bill, so perhaps this letter can help guide him. The Dallas folks do say that they like and support the insurance provisions in the bill, as do I, so there’s at least the basis for a compromise of some kind. I’m sure the Houston Mayoral candidates will weigh in on this as well, since this is an important issue that would directly affect Houston. Right? (Spoiler: No. It’s potholes and pensions all the way down.)

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