Chauffeur Reg Revamp Rerouted

City set to level playing field between limos, taxis, and TNCs

Chauffeur regulations hit the back burner at City Council last Thursday due to some last-minute modifications from the Law Department. But staff expects the package to return to the dais this week (if they can find the time).

As reported, the proposal on the table represents one half of a broader regulation tweak that the city hopes will level the playing field between grizzled veterans of the grand transportation industry – limousines, charters, and taxis – and the paradigm-busting transportation network companies (specifically Lyft and Uber) that the state decided over the summer shouldn’t be regulated by municipalities. Losing the minimum fare and time requirements might make that segment of the market more nimble, but not everyone is keen on the idea. Austin Cab General Manager Ron Means, his eye fixed on the taxi regulation changes set for Council in February, told the Chronicle that deregulation would be devastating to local drivers, predicting chaos as drivers switch from meters to digital systems. “I’ve seen it happen in other cities, and it’s not something that’s going to be pretty,” he warned.

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City Council, Ron Means, Lyft, Uber, transportation network companies

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