The Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department (ARA) requests that City Council approve revisions to Chapter 46 of the City of Houston’s Code of Ordinances related to the regulation of vehicles-for-hire, which includes taxicabs, limousines, charter and sightseeing vehicles, low speed shuttles, and pedicabs.
On September 14, 2021, City Council approved Ordinance No. 2021-0804 which amended various aspects of Chapter 46 to provide interim and emergency relief to the vehicle-for-hire industry that has struggled throughout the pandemic. Industry representatives recently approached the City to request additional changes to help the industry recover. After reviewing the industry requests, discussing the proposals with industry stakeholders, and assessing the value of the expected outcomes, ARA recommends the following revisions to Chapter 46:
- Add a fuel surcharge when gas prices are over $3.00 a gallon (similar to Uber and Lyft).
- Move the renewal date for pedicab permits from May 1 to February 1 allow pedicabs to complete inspections in time for Rodeo season.
- Allow 15-passenger (or less) van operators to place signage on vehicles to include the company name, logo, and phone number. This is not allowed under the current ordinance and the industry is asking for flexibility to advertise. We are attempting to give them full flexibility under the revisions.
- Update regulations for Low-Speed Shuttles to conform with legislation passed in the 87th legislative session.
ARA met with representatives from each industry impacted by these revisions, and they are all in favor of these amendments.
The proposed Chapter 46 amendments were presented by ARA to the Regulatory and Neighborhood Affairs Committee on May 10, 2022.
Revenue for this item is adopted in the FY2022 Adopted Budget. Therefore, no Fiscal Note is required as stated in the Financial Policies.
Departmental Approval Authority:
Tina Paez, Director Other Authorization
Administration & Regulatory