Jacob Frey on Lyft/Uber regulations: "I think the taxi industry needed some competition"

LyftFreyFeat.jpg
Frey is a fan of Lyft and its pink mustache-adorned cars, but he wants a bit more oversight of the company.
Most folks are aware that Lyft and Uber are already up and running in Minneapolis. But did you realize the smartphone-based "next-gen taxi" services are essentially operating illegally right now?

To rectify that situation, City Council Member Jacob Frey is working on an ordinance that would regulate the so-called transportation network companies.

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Frey, who is working with Council Member Abdi Warsame on the measure, tells us, "We're trying to get an ordinance created as quickly as possible that accounts for and accommodates a new and very innovative business but ensures equity with existing businesses."

By "existing businesses," Frey means traditional taxi companies, none of whom are thrilled about the hip new competition Uber and Lyft represent.

"I think the taxi cab industry needed some competition, and this is a perfect time for the entire transit network to get a bit of a facelift," Frey says.

But the introduction of transportation network companies in other markets has actually been a boon for traditional taxis, Frey points out.

"As far as the cities that have implemented [TNCs] in the past, the year following implementation, cab revenues went up," Frey says. "What I attribute that to is people start getting comfortable not getting behind the wheel themselves. They get rid of automobiles, take [TNCs] more often, and cabs more often too."

"The cab industry has not been able to refute that statistic," Frey adds.

Asked about the regulatory approach his ordinance will take, Frey said there are three ways other cities have dealt with TNCs.

"The route most have taken is to do nothing and to allow Lyft and Uber to operate regulation free," Frey says. "That, in my opinion, is not really the equitable approach nor is it the safest approach."

"The second is to mesh the [TNCs] into the existing taxi ordinance, but that's also a stupid approach because I think it would put a regulatory stranglehold on the potential for the new and innovative business to exist," Frey continues. "You'll suffocate the business."

"The third -- this is a new and innovative approach -- is to draw up some wording to account for the differences [between TNCs and taxis]," Frey says. "There are very few cities that have taken that approach. Most are, 'No regulations or taxi regulations.' I think both aren't fair, nor do they help economic development."

Asked to discuss some of the specific regulations his proposed ordinance contains, Frey first mentioned that TNCs "are not allowed to scout for passengers by driving around and looking for somebody hailing a cab, and they're not allowed to sit in cab stands."

"The whole model of TNCs is you sign up and register for a club where the driver gets to know the passenger and the passenger knows the driver, and it's all done through the app as opposed to in person," Frey continues.

Frey's ordinance also contains some carrots for traditional cabs.

(For more, click to page two.)



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19 comments
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seoexpert844

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whatatwat
whatatwat

more regulation from the man who brought you the music venues must provide earplugs law. What a douche. Hey Frey, kick warsme in the nuts. One man on the city council cannot stop these companies, so make him cowtow to you. Dipshit. 

Eddie Phillips
Eddie Phillips

Then you must be the lucky one. Most of the cabs in MPLS make me fear for my health both in terms of the driver and the vehicle. This country and specifically this state do not need anymore regulation.

Lily Ann
Lily Ann

I just want to like this so many times.

stoptherain
stoptherain

"Frey, who is working with Council Member Abdi Warsame on the measure" Ah I live in Abdi's district and he;s pretty close to the cab people so I doubt he's not going to be biased. 

ocean_breeze
ocean_breeze

You want fair competition? Then how about you start regulating law-breaking fraudulent ride-sharing private corporations the same way you are regulating local small transportation businesses ??

This preferential treatment of multi-BILLION dollar California ride-sharing cartel has gone long enough.

Austin Fassino
Austin Fassino

Use the code "austin2217" before requesting your first Lyft to get $25 credit!

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

Frey is getting kickbacks


the taxi industry doesnt need competition so much as they need a more affordable fare system


the rare times that i take a cab i tell the somali what im gonna pay upfront... then i tell him theres plenty of other cabs 


never pay more than 20 

Drew Swim
Drew Swim

Could he do the same for Airport Parking. Miss my economy long term parking at OKC for $4 a day.

Matthew Martin
Matthew Martin

While City Pages did an okay job explaining this issue. Many are unaware of all the regulations taxis do have in this city. But if it looks like a "taxi" and operates like a "taxi". Then it should be treated in a similar way. I can't open a single restaurant and claim that sanitary standards don't matter because I am not part of a chain. Same as here.

Eddie Phillips
Eddie Phillips

Jacob Frey is a moron. Has he taken a taxi ride in Minneapolis recently? Show me one cab that is clean and hygienic, so now we are going to get 10 yr old cabs. Great advert for MPLS! Does he not get that the feedback system makes TNCs self regulating? Show me how I give feedback and can read feedback about Minneapolis disgusting dirty cabs and drivers?

Lily Ann
Lily Ann

We actually DO NOT need more legislature but thank you anyway, tool. And it's not illegal but thank you for introducing some more fear platform.

whatatwat
whatatwat

what about lyft or uber looks like a taxi to you? moron.

whatatwat
whatatwat

Minneapolis cabs and cab drivers are the worst you'll ever find. 

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