Killeen taxi, limo rule changes proposed

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The Killeen City Council Tuesday will be asked to consider some major changes to the city’s transportation ordinance.

The changes would affect for-hire transportation services including taxicabs, limousines and shuttles.

The plan is to simplify and reduce the number of regulations and ease the permitting process.

It was noted that there are currently different rules for what are called “transportation network company drivers” ( such as Uber drivers)  and taxi drivers.

Uber requirements have been universally set by the state while taxi, limo and shuttle regulations have been set by cities, and in Killeen are more stringent.

Under the changes, taxicab companies would be granted a five year “operating authority”, as opposed to franchises as are now granted, with other transportation services obtaining a three year “operating authority.”

The ‘ operating authority” requires only one reading and one vote by the city council as opposed to three readings and a 60-day waiting period for franchises.

The driver requirements for all transportation services would be changed to match what the state requires for Uber type services.

Inspection of vehicles would be simplified to just requiring certification that the vehicles have passed the regular required state inspection instead of the current separate inspections.

The proposed changes follow a November 2 stakeholders  meeting that city staff had with representatives with two taxicab companies and three city council members.

The group provided input for the proposed new ordinance.

Staff was asked to revise the existing ordinance to minimize regulations and ensure that it would be enforceable.

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