Should Minneapolis legalize car “ride share” programs?

“A Minneapolis City Council panel on Tuesday approved changes to regulations governing ride-share services like UberX and Lyft,” writes MPR News reporter Peter Cox.

New language would add city oversight to the fast-growing but largely unregulated ride-sharing industry. The panel also voted to ease city rules on taxis.

The proposed changes will go to the full Minneapolis City Council for a possible vote next week.

So-called “ride share” smartphone apps like Lyft and Uber connect car owners with people looking for rides. Though they’re operating in Minneapolis, they don’t have the authority to do so.

Cox continues:

The ordinance amendments would let taxi companies use older cabs, allow cab drivers to park at city meters and reduce annual vehicle inspections from two to one.

The ride-share services, also, known as transportation network companies, would pay an annual license fee of $35,000 as well as a $10,000 wheelchair surcharge.

That money would help the city offer incentives and waivers to cab companies with wheelchair accessible vehicles. Taxi operators would have to pay $20 per vehicle as a wheelchair surcharge.

While cab companies and drivers said they were happy with the changes, they argued that the ordinances essentially give separate sets of rules to companies working in the same industry.

Today’s Question: Should Minneapolis legalize car “ride share” programs?