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Council approves Uber deal

I’d forgotten about this.

Uber

Uber will remain operating in Houston at least through the Super Bowl, after City Council approved changes to the city’s paid ride rules ironed out between the popular ride-hailing service and Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Council members, after a sometimes contentious discussion on Wednesday, approved the revised city rules for taxis, so-called transportation network companies like Uber and limo providers. The changes – which keep Houston’s fingerprint check for drivers in place but eliminates other requirements to operate here such as a mandatory drug test and physical – came after Uber indicated it would leave rather than cooperate with many of the rules.

[…]

City officials said the changes do not compromise passenger safety, while giving Uber and taxi companies more latitude to quickly and easily enroll drivers. When Uber and other companies that connect riders and drivers via smartphone app hit the road in Houston in early 2014, city officials opted to keep many of the same requirements in place that had existed for taxi drivers. After more than two years of study, the city thinks it can roll back some of the unnecessary rules, said Tina Paez, director of the city’s regulatory affairs department.

“We are not going to be everyone’s (human resources) department anymore,” Paez said, referring to redundancies in the company’s background check and the city’s requirements.

See here for the background. This will keep Uber in town through February 5, after which they may or may not finally follow through on that threat to take their app and go home. Or they may wait and see if the Lege takes care of their longstanding complaints about Houston’s and other cities’ regulatory structure. Be that as it may, they’re here for now, so ride ’em if you got ’em.

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3 Comments

  1. Joshua ben bullard says:

    Turner wasn’t present for the vote, I still can’t put my finger on why Mayor Turner refuses to open entry taxis and uber like Washington DC,Dallas tx,the entire state of California, maybe him and big taxi know something I don’t,but uber could wrap themselves up in litigation for years and easily stay in town,its not about uber ,its about allowing all Houstonians the right to hire their drivers direct,with out the 3rd party uber fees and taxi medallion fees ,but Turner won’t budge, even when the entire country is outlawing the practice. The originalTexas legislature and the governor should remove this out of the hands of all municipalities. What Sylvesterturner is doing is criminal in most jurisdictions now.2.2 million citizens and every one is required by city law to pay one of 2 men 30% additional every time they hire a uber or taxi.it won’t take long before Houstonians realize the 30% extra scam being played at city hall.Imagine NRG stadium-minute maid park-all major hotels in Houston,the GRB convention center ,no one can hire their uber driver/ or taxi driver direct .your forced by Mayor Turner to wait then pay 30% extra when the damn uber car is sitting in front of you …”oh you have to go threw the uber app” why? Why do u need to go threw an uber app at the airports, galleria, hotels ,you don’t, its just Sylvesterturner is making you,pulling millions of dollars of your money to 2 guys (30% extra-everyride)its insane but Charles kuffner seems to love it.I don’t,I cry foul,I call BS.Turner is flat out ripping off the entire city whenever anyone hires an uber or taxi and so far he’s getting away with it.but scams in Houston have away of not lasting forever, eventually they end.So we shall see .

  2. I’ve never seen someone so obsessed with taxi’s…

  3. Eugene says:

    I feel safer in a taxi cab……