Tuesday, August 12, 2014

City Council to take up hail-a-car app legislation at Thursday's meeting

Posted By on Tue, Aug 12, 2014 at 2:32 PM

click to enlarge Uber's national policy director Justin Kintz and regional manager Tom Hayes address the New Orleans City Council's transportation committee during a meeting July 29. - JEANIE RIESS
  • JEANIE RIESS
  • Uber's national policy director Justin Kintz and regional manager Tom Hayes address the New Orleans City Council's transportation committee during a meeting July 29.


Once again, legislation that would allow hail-a-cab apps like Uber to operate in New Orleans is on the table, this time before the full New Orleans City Council at a regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, August 14. 

At the end of a tense, three-hour meeting on July 29, the council's transportation committee moved the proposed changes to the full council without recommendation. That was after the committee decided to defer a decision on the proposed changes to the city's transportation code a month earlier

The proposed legislation, drafted in part by Ryan Berni and Eric Granderson, both of Mayor Mitch Landrieu's office, would eliminate a three-hour minimum on for-hire vehicles and would adjust the pricing so that such vehicles can charge by the mile and minute. It would also add language to specify the arrangement of such cars via smartphone app. 

Uber, for its part, has sent out its usual grassroots email blast, with a pre-composed email that the company's supporters can send to city council members, urging them not only to allow the app and others like it into the New Orleans market, but also asking to decrease (or eliminate completely) the proposed minimum fare that Uber says would inhibit its expansion into the city. The San Francisco-based company is also urging its advocates to attend Thursday's meeting. 

The council meeting will be held at 10 a.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall.

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