City council wants to ease some rules for 'for-hire' industry an - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

City council wants to ease some rules for 'for-hire' industry and applicants

Taxi drivers have complained about having to abide by strict rules and vehicle requirements that Uber drivers do not face. (FOX 8 Photo) Taxi drivers have complained about having to abide by strict rules and vehicle requirements that Uber drivers do not face. (FOX 8 Photo)
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

Rain or shine, hundreds of taxis roll on city streets every day. Now city government wants to remove some of the bumps in the road for the “for-hire” vehicle industry.

"To have a more efficient process, a more streamlined process,” said City Councilman Jared Brossett.

Thursday the City Council Transportation Committee waved through some proposed changes for the industry.

One proposed change would remove the requirement that CPNC holders, or companies, or individuals who actually own taxis be forced to be drug tested unless they actually drive the “for-hire” vehicle.

"Only affects CPNC holders, not anyone who drives a taxi cab or other 'for-hire' vehicle,” said Jared Munster, Ph.D., Director of the city’s Safety and Permits Department.

The Landrieu administration said that will speed up the renewal process.

Taxi drivers have complained about having to abide by strict rules and vehicle requirements that Uber drivers do not face.

"That will assist the taxi cab industry especially now that they have, you know, some competition from Uber, the transportation network companies,” said Councilwoman Susan Guidry.

The council committee also voted in favor of softening the prescription, or waiting period for convicted criminals to apply for a driver’s permit.

"The city has been over the past three looking at how can we fit the prescription with the crime, to allow more re-entry opportunities for people looking for a second chance, and also reducing recidivism,” Brossett said.

Under the proposed changes, the life time ban would remain unchanged for homicide and rape convictions. But for some drug crimes like the sale, distribution, and possession with intent to distribute illegal substances the waiting period would be reduced from a life time ban to three years.

"Of course, rape and murder that is life-time bans, some non-violent offenses have come down to three years of prescription, we looked at other cities around the country to make sure we lined up with theirs, as well,” said Brossett.

"If you sell drugs for 10 years and you serve your time, if you kill somebody or rape somebody, no,” said Cabdriver Lourdy Francois.

The full city council must vote on the proposed changes for the “for-hire” vehicle industry.

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