Ride Share Ordinance

A new Duluth ordiance could pave the way for ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to come into the city.

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Up to this point, efforts to bring Uber and Lyft to Duluth have seen a big red stop sign, but a new ordinance might give them the green light they need to move forward.

Duluth City Councilor Noah Hobbs is working on a new city ordinance that could create a path towards bringing Uber and Lyft to Duluth.

“It is kind of a missing gap we have in our transportation service. Currently they could operate under the taxi ordinance but it would be very messy and what we’re working on is how to make that very clean and also on a level playing field.” said Hobbs.

For taxi companies like Custom Cab, it’s important that everyone follows the rules of the road.

“It’s real interesting to see the change that’s happening and we’re excited to see what’s coming up we’ve embraced it,” said Shawn OHearon of Custom Cab.

O’Hearon said he welcomes the competition. “I knew that it would be on its way. I’m not too worried about it,” O’Hearon said.

Custom Cab has accelerated their own service to include their own app.

“When they do come to town, we’re already there. We’re already established in that market and I think that’s going to give us the edge,” said O’Hearon.

The new ordinance would create a separate set of rules for ride-sharing companies.

“I think our taxi cab ordinance is slightly less restrictive than what we’re doing for transportation network companies,” said Hobbs.

The new ordinance would have regulations such as criminal background checks for drivers, ride-sharing cars can’t sit at taxi cab stalls, and they can only be hailed electronically.

“I think it would be here regardless if we did this ordinance or not,” said Hobbs.

There will be a public hearing for taxi companies on the proposed ordinance coming up in late January.

If approved, the new ordinance could go into effect as early as late February or early March.

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