Dean Hanson, operator of Yellow Door Taxi, advised transportation community corporations ought to be held to the identical requirements as native taxicab companies and charged equivalent charges. He informed councilors that he felt he was being set as much as fail by the ordinance handed Monday.
“To allow competition to come in, undercut me and not have the same amount of regulations. I don’t really know what you expect is going to happen. Me and all my drivers, we’re going to be out of business. I’m telling you that right now,” Hanson stated.
At Large Councilor Noah Hobbs, the chief writer of the ordinance, thanked Hanson and different native taxi representatives for sharing their considerations.
He stated the town had a few different choices it might have exercised.
“We could have regulated this and said: No, we’re not going to have these industries here and operating in Duluth. Or we could have not regulated them at all, as was the case in St. Cloud and Mankato, where transportation network companies are operating with zero fees, zero inspections, no quality controls to provide for the safety of riders. That gives them a significant advantage over the traditional established cab industry,” Hobbs stated.
But he advocated a 3rd choice, with the popularity that transportation community corporations in all probability can be coming to Duluth, prefer it or not.
“We’re requiring background checks, TNC cars have to be four years younger than our cabs have to be. And we will have inspections by ASE-certified mechanics,” Hobbs stated, noting that TNCs would really need to hold extra insurance coverage than cabs.
“We put in a lot of work to make sure that we will have a level playing field that’s not tilted one way or the other. So there’s no unfair competitive advantage,” Hobbs stated.
But Fosle stated he did not need to danger hurt to native taxicab operations.
“I for one don’t want to hurt any business, so I’m going to vote against this tonight,” he stated.
Duluth City Council President Joel Sipress expressed a number of misgivings concerning the arrival of transportation community corporations in Duluth however stated he would help the ordinance out of recognition for Hobbs’ efforts to craft a coverage that addressed lots of his considerations.
It will take 30 days for the ordinance to formally go into impact, which means TNCs might start working in Duluth come April 27, simply days earlier than the Homegrown Music Festival.