Today the Full Council voted to pass a bill that places new regulations on emerging app-based transportation network companies (TNCs) like UberX, Lyft and Sidecar. The legislation places important and necessary safety regulations around these new services, including insurance requirements equivalent to those in the taxi industry. The Council was unified on this issue: safety and consumer protection must come first.
The legislation also places a cap of 150 on the number of vehicles that can be logged into a TNC app at any one time. I do not favor a cap. I voted for an amendment to remove the cap three weeks ago and again this afternoon, but that amendment failed 3 to 6. We will be monitoring the impact of the cap – and the broader changes in the industry – closely over the coming year.
The legislation also calls for 200 new taxi licenses to be issued over the next two years and allows flat-rate for-hire vehicles to pick up passengers who flag them down.