Dallas' Proposed Taxi Rules Would Regulate Uber, Weaken Yellow Cab's Near-Monopoly

Categories: Transportation

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C. Troy Mathis
Eight months after nearly regulating Uber out of existence to protect Yellow Cab's near-monopoly in the city, Dallas is set to propose new taxi rules that sorta kinda resemble a free market.

A draft of proposed "transportation for hire" regulations, crafted over several months by a committee led by City Councilwoman Sandy Greyson, were obtained today by WFAA and The Dallas Morning News.

They would do away with much of the existing regulatory framework that has allowed Yellow Cab to enjoy a virtual stranglehold on the market. Gone is the distinction between cabs, limousines and other vehicles per hire. Gone is the cap on the number of cabs (2,022) allowed to operate in Dallas, which made it impossible for new competitors to enter the market. Gone are most of the arbitrary little rules (e.g. front-of-line privileges at Love Field for natural-gas taxis, minimum fleet sizes, minimum costs for vehicles) that helped maintain the status quo.

In place of all that are streamlined regulations designed to create, in the words of the proposed ordinance, a "level playing field." All vehicles -- whether limo, pedicab, Uber town car or traditional taxi -- will be subject to the same regulations. An operating permit allowing a transportation provider to do business in Dallas would cost $1,000 per year. Each driver ($50 per year) and vehicle ($100 per year) would also need city-issued permits.

All transportation-for-hire providers would be required to comply with some other basic rules. They can't discriminate against passengers based on race, sex, sexual orientation, political affiliation, etc. They have to operate citywide and can't reject passengers based on the neighborhood they're coming from or going to. They must carry a $1 million commercial automobile insurance policy that's in effect "any time that the driver or the vehicle is working as or available as transportation-for-hire" (this point is key). And so on.

There's a little bit in there for everyone to hate. Yellow Cab will have a tough time keeping its monopoly. Lyft might balk at being forced to operate citywide. Uber probably won't be pleased with a requirement they inform passengers of their fare up front (they currently provide an estimate, which can change). But such is compromise.

Greyson's transportation-for-hire committee will discuss the proposal at City Hall tomorrow morning, then it's on to the City Council.

Draft Ordinance of Transportation-For-Hire by Robert Wilonsky

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16 comments
2kwameaidoo
2kwameaidoo

Yellow cab, where is thy sting?! Greediness stinks! !

2kwameaidoo
2kwameaidoo

Yellow cab, where is thy sting?! Greediness stinks! !

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Boycott the Greedy Big $$ Taxi Cartels!


Support your Local Independent Ride Sharing Service !!



lebowski300
lebowski300

Won't the item where the cap of total taxis city-wide is lifted mean there'll be less motivation for graft? No chance this passes. The council needs graft to breathe.

Greg820
Greg820

A well-reasoned and insightful policy.  Who knew?

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

As a former New York gal I can tell you Dallas has outrageously high cab fares.  Something is rotten here and maybe we can finally get it cleaned up.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

This is a joke right, there is no possible way that this passes as written.  It makes way too much sense and seems fair to everyone

NoWay
NoWay

Holy Crap! What city am I living in?........Dallas is not a place where an actual problem can be solved with a measured and completely reasonable compromise, delivered in a thoughtful manner by a city council member.

pak152
pak152

" Uber probably won't be pleased with a requirement they inform passengers of their fare up front"

well if you take a yellow cab you don't know what the total fare is up front. you know what they charge per mile or time. and you have no control over the route the YC  driver takes

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Office pool: how long will it take for Amarillo Cab Gonzalez to step in and give his Patron some sweetheart exemption?

lebowski300
lebowski300

@pak152  To be fair, probably no provider could give you the fair upfront. However they all could and should provide the flat and variable rates up front. And they all ought to provide you the fair at the end of the ride. The idea of getting out of at the end of an Uber ride and finding out later what that cost me seems untenable.

pak152
pak152

@lebowski300 I agree that Uber should be able to provide the fare (or a close approximation say within 5-10% of the final) upfront

at the same time YC should be able to provide a close approximation of a final fare. Since their fares are based upon mileage they should take the route that is most advantageous for the passenger

lebowski300
lebowski300

@pak152 Much wider variability than 5-10% from the estimate and actual fare is what I have heard is common. And it has scared me off Uber.


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