Despite Commerce Department warning, Jacob Frey says Uber/Lyft ordinance still on its way


"I don't think there has been an entirely successful regulatory tool that any other city has used," he says. "We're looking at being the first to do this properly -- one, by ensuring safety, but two, by allowing new and innovative businesses to operate and thrive to the fullest extent. It's a great business model, and for us to shut our doors by strangling it with regulation would be dumb, but at the same time it's our job to ensure public safety and a big part of that is making sure that insurance is up to speed and complete."

"We want to put together an ordinance that is good not just for two or three ride-sharing companies," Frey continues. "We want this to be an acceptable ordinance long-term so it accommodates new and different business models, because every company is going to do things slightly different."

Frey says his ordinance should come before a City Council committee on June 3. If it's approved there, it'll go before the full council during its next regularly scheduled meeting.

The plan now is for the council to simultaneously consider two ordinances -- a new one pertaining just to TNCs, along with revisions to the city's existing taxi ordinance.

"From what I'm seeing, the taxi cab industry wants just one ordinance," Frey says. "That's what they're arguing for and just to put it bluntly I don't see that as an option. It is a different kind of business, and as our transportation network expands, as new innovation comes to the city, we have to be willing to think outside the box."

But Frey doesn't think having separate ordinances for TNCs and taxis is a problem.

"There's a difference between fairness and equity," Frey says. "There are parts of the taxi ordinance that in some ways would be more favorable [to the taxi business]. They're different business models and to treat it exactly the same would not be beneficial to either one. There are a few modifications that I think will help the taxi cab industry provide better service that they will appreciate."

Frey also reiterated his belief that it's about time the taxi industry was spurred to evolve.

"Competition is a good thing," he says. "I think the whole model needs a facelift and this is a swift kick in the pants to do so."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.



Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
21 comments
Jesse Lara
Jesse Lara

I have been using uber on my trip in Pittsburgh. One of my drivers said the police are doing stings and fine is $800! Because they do not have a license to operate.

Ulysses Awsumb
Ulysses Awsumb

Lyft provides insurance for drivers already. This is a non issue.

Ryan Siverson
Ryan Siverson

So what I am reading is that they are concerned that if you get in an accident while giving rides for money (a business), your PERSONAL insurance will not cover the accident. Sounds like a legit concern to me. I have business coverage on my camera equipment because I make money with it. Regular ol renters insurance would not cover it because it is a business asset. Please let me know if I am missing something on this.

steve797979
steve797979

Jacob,

What happens when the gypsy cab does a personal or Street Hail and the app is not on because it is a cash deal? That is why insurance needs to be 7by 24. Drivers in California and Washington DC have been ticketed for illegal hails. Should the public be at risk? Statefarm in California has said they will cancel any insurance policy that is doing ridesharing as lyft or uber define it.

Frederick Dawe
Frederick Dawe

Proud to be represented by a city council member with solid legal skills and an eye for innovation. Way to go, Jacob!

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

Jacob i know you are reading this


learn some new words


"rejiggered"

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

Just shows how special interests run the state.   Can't sell a legal product (alcohol) on Sundays.   Can't buy beer (real beer) or wine in a super market.   Can't give people a ride - but I guess you can deliver pizza.  All because of special interest groups trying to maintain control and make a monopoly out of their business sector.

I've heard there is a similar 'extra room' or 'let me crash on your sofa' web site.  Cites are afraid if people do this, they will lose sales taxes on hotel rooms.

Carrie Dunkley
Carrie Dunkley

Oh hell! Adam and all you claiming racial bias... get over it. So sick of the race issues here in MN.

Chris Welton
Chris Welton

I love how the only reason this idea has worked is the closet racism.

Wade Johnson
Wade Johnson

I wonder if the regulations will include a way for the city to get a cut and hike up the prices for consumers.

Adam Bertoni
Adam Bertoni

Now, speaking of change... how about we work on that Sunday beer sale thing. lol

Adam Bertoni
Adam Bertoni

Glad to see MN embracing change. Unlike other areas who seem to be more concerned with lining the pockets of the cab companies. At least here they're coming at it from the right angle... consumer safety. And not one of fear and/or cronyism.

therightreverendlarr
therightreverendlarr

"It's a great business model, and for us to shut our doors by strangling it with regulation would be dumb, but at the same time it's our job to ensure public safety and a big part of that is making sure that insurance is up to speed and complete."

This Jacob Frey sounds to me like the rare politician who actually gets it.

panndder
panndder

@atrupar @Jacob_Frey Let's put the people who are legally-obligated to pick up handicapped people out of business. Yayyyy!

tim1982
tim1982

Legal skills that allow him to skirt existing regulation in favor of Silicon Valley money. It is ridiculous they we are allowing unlicensed business opeators in our city.

Just because "there's an app for that" doesn't mean its not a cab. This is in essence a class bias being institutionalized because hipseter, iPhone wielding, patrons don't want to sit in a cab with a Somali.

Portland, New York, and Philadelphia have already banned the black market cabs.!

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1  youre fucking team is all about protecting the honey pot, i dont know how you even decided to comment. makes you look pathetic


youre old fat white fuck friends are those guys blocking commerce and handcuffing the free market


fuck off and die

cabs
cabs

The cab guy I just got a ride from said he only picks up "certain kinds of people" and then went on to describe what that meant. so do you mean the cabbies are racist? He was Somali by the way. 

sonbolw
sonbolw

As an FYI: The cab industry here in Minneapolis is an open market.  Anyone with 5 cars can open a cab company.  There are no limits.  All the limitations come from the City of Minneapolis.  So, in Minneapolis, it would be impossible to line the pockets of the cab companies.


If Frey, and MN, was really embracing change, they would do as Dallas as Dallas did, or as Houston is doing, and create one ordinance that governs all.  Deregulate where it is excessive, all the while ensuring public safety and service.


And, Frey talks of a study that his analysis has been refuted by the City of Seattle itself.  I have the email where he actually states "I didn't read it" about the study.  He is speaking from a bar chart that was given to him by Lyft.


Frey is not a politician who gets it.  He is a politician who just like the rest of them, has a thing for multi billion dollar corporations. 


Yes, I do run a cab company.  We have never asked Frey to get rid of UberX/Lyft.  We just asked for a level playing field, and to allow us to compete on that level.


He told us he would.  Then changed his mind, because there are those in the City who do not want to lose the fees from the taxi industry. 


And, in that, is the cronyism you are speaking of.

tim1982
tim1982

Its a great business model because its skirts regulation and allows people to profile their drivers before they get picked .

And why is the City allowing these unlicensed operators to run around the City rampant. If any other type if biz operated without a license it would be shut down immediately by the City. Either deregulate or regulate fairly.

Frey seems like he is trying , but he is new to the state and new to the politics, and has a lot to learn yet.

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...