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Council Green Lights New Rules for Public Transportation Services in El Paso

El Paso City Council approved a new set of inventive regulations that will enhance public transportation services for the El Paso community.

The Transportation-for-Hire ordinance amendments are inclusive of taxicabs, limousines, pedicabs, sightseeing and charter vehicles, low speed vehicles and transportation network companies (UberX, Lyft, etc.). Some of the  changes include background checks for all drivers, vehicle quality standards, and free market published rates rather than prescribed minimum/maximum rates to name a few.

For more information on the newly adopted changes, please see the information provided below.

What are the key provisions to the Transportation-for-Hire ordinance?

  • All business models require an Operating Authority Permit
  • All drivers or operators of a mode of transportation must pass a background check
  • Vehicles must comply with State registration/inspection requirements
  • Service rules require city wide service, prohibit discrimination, and require wheelchair accessible vehicle be dispatched on request
  • Free market published rates rather than prescribed minimum/maximum rates, for all modes
  • Airport operation continue to require separate permits for taxicab, shuttle and limo zone/areas

What is Transportation-for-hire?

Transportation-for-hire is a vehicle used for the provision of transportation services to the general public in exchange for compensation.  Taxicabs, limousines, pedicabs, sightseeing and charter vehicles, low speed vehicles and transportation network companies (Uber, Lyft, etc.) are all different kinds of Transportation-for-hire.

What is a Transportation Network Company?

Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) are those that provide prearranged transportation services for compensation using an internet-enabled application or digital platform to connect passengers with drivers that use their personal vehicles to provide vehicle-for-hire services.

Why did the City change the ordinance?

The City approved new regulations to protect public safety and improve customer service by expanding and updating existing regulations to allow innovative new transportation services to operate in El Paso.

What are the public safety requirements and operating requirements for Operating Authorities permitees?

The following are the minimum operating requirements for all vehicle-for-hire operators and/or drivers:

  • Criminal background checks
  • Vehicle quality standards
  • Commercial automobile liability insurance
  • Fare certainty

When will the ordinance be effective? 

Six-month grace period from date of adoption for full compliance.

Will be required to carry commercial insurance?

Yes.  In accordance with State law requirements.

Did the ordinance cap the total number of Transportation vehicles or drivers?

No, there is no cap on the number participants.

Where will TNC’s pick up fares at the airport?

There will be a designated space (with signage) along the center median for TNC pickup- no dwelling at curbside will be allowed.

Where will the TNC staging area be located?

The airport will have staging for five TNC vehicles in marked spaces at the cell phone lot.

Will TNC drivers be allowed in the terminal?

TNC drivers will not be allowed inside the terminal. Passenger pickups will take place in the designated TNC space in the median.

 

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