PORT ANGELES – Port Angeles is about to adopt an ordinance that will allow transportation network services (TNC’s) such as Lyft and Uber to begin operating in the city, and it should be effective beginning around the first of September.
The city’s For-Hire Vehicle Licensing Code hasn’t been updated since 1980, and staff have been working hard to bring it into the 21st century since last year. Their first attempt at a re-write that would work for both taxicab companies and TNC’s didn’t strike the right balance for either industry, but City Manager Nathan West, speaking on the Todd Ortloff Show, says the latest version, presented to City Council this week, appears to work for everybody.
“I think it really does and I’m really happy with what the legal department did to actually separate out the transportation network requirements so that in many cases they don’t overly restrict the taxi cabs and really addresses some of the concerns we saw from the taxi cabs last year. But I think both forms of companies have a niche in our economy and I think both will continue to do well under under this new ordinance.”
West says the second reading of the new ordinance is scheduled for the council’s August 20 meeting, where he expects it to will be approved and then adopted 7-10 days after that.
For those interested in becoming a Lyft or Uber driver, West spelled out what the ordinance will require.
“It’s a pretty good ordinance. And it also requires some of those important things that members of the public really care about if they’re going to be using those, but requiring a clean driving record of those drivers, requiring background checks for those drivers, making sure that for transportation network companies, they’re not something that you can hail in. They’re something that you have to do through the software that’s provided or the app that’s used by the company. So you can’t just flag them down on the street. And then also making sure the vehicles are required to be inspected. But there’s some good steps in the ordinances and it’s looking like it’s moving forward. And so hopefully for those individuals who do want to start up doing this, they now can.”