Here's What's Happening With Dallas City Council's Proposed Restrictions on Uber.
You really don't have to look too far to notice the kerfuffle. It's pretty much begging for your attention.
It's plastered on town cars driving through the city (see above cover photo). It's posted on the fences outside of a cab depot in Uptown. It's all over social media, too: Dallas Stars greats and pornstars alike are taking up the #DallasNeedsUber cause.
But what, exactly, is going on with all this? Well, let's look into it.
In short, the public outcry all centers around an item that was added to this week's Dallas City Council agenda at the last minute — and the fact that it might negatively affect the absurdly popular mobile app Uber from continuing to operate under its current form, in which it links users up with off-duty limo drivers for discounted rides around town.
The proposed addendum to the laws on the books would impose a number of restrictions on “providers of limousine service,” such as the drivers who employ Uber's services. Among the restrictions: requiring users to prearrange rides at least 30 minutes before pickup; setting a base price of $45,000 for off-the-lot limousine purchases; establishing minimum fares.
After the memo announcing the item came to light over the weekend, things escalated rather quickly online:
â€¢ Public response reached a peak on Monday as users took to Twitter to voice their displeasure, using the hashtag #DallasNeedsUber.
â€¢ Dallas City Hall posted a statement to its Facebook Page, defending the ordinance and providing background on the issues. Users began commenting on the post, criticizing the reasoning behind the ordinance and accusing city staff of being influenced by local cab companies.
â€¢ Today, the Morning News confirmed possible corruption suspicions, posting an item about various donations made to city council members by Yellow Cab higher-ups.
â€¢ Council members have posted their positions on the issue and have urged their constituents to sign up to speak at City Hall during Wednesday's council meeting.
â€¢ Mayor Mike Rawlings joined the conversation, saying he was “surprised about [the] Uber item” and “getting to the bottom of this.”
â€¢ An online petition asking council members to vote now on the measure has started to circulate and has already collected more than 12,000 signatures in support of its request that the council vote no on the proposed item and “stand for better transportation options, consumer choice and driver jobs for the city of Dallas.”
In other words: People are pretty upset about what could potentially go down here if this motion passes, and the city is taking notice. Still, Uber's fate in Dallas remains up in the air.
But at least there's been some early progress: This is obviously a developing story, but, for now, the amendment has been tabled and a special discussion has been set for the city council's Wednesday, August 28, meeting, which will start at 9 a.m. at City Hall.
Parties interested in speaking during this session can request to speak at the meeting by calling 214-670-3738 or by contacting their local councilperson here.