With the recent announcement that Monroe, LA will begin Uber services on Wednesday, Sept. 20th, many Shreveporters are asking themselves – why not us? Shreveport passed its ordinance back in February while Monroe passed theirs less than two months ago on July 25th.
Comparing the ordinances between Monroe and Shreveport, there is one specific section that seems to be delaying ride sharing services.
The following information can be found in the Shreveport Ordinances, pertaining to Transportation Network Companies (“TNC”):
Sec. 102-88(c)(1) A person shall not operate a TNC in the city without first having obtained a permit from the chief of police.
(2) The chief of police shall issue a permit to each applicant that meets the requirements for a TNC set forth in this chapter, and pays a permit fee of $2,500.00. Said permit shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance. It may be renewed annually upon payment of the annual $2,500.00 permit fee.
(3) Prior to the issuance of a permit hereunder, the TNC shall execute an agreement, in a form approved by the city attorney, to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the city, its officers, agents and employees for any incident that causes harm to a third party and arises from the intentional or negligent acts of the TNC or any of its drivers.
(4) The TNC shall pay a service charge to the city of $0.25 per ride for all rides originating in the city.
(5) In addition to the service charge per ride, the TNC shall pay an additional fee of $1.00 for all rides originating at Shreveport Regional Airport and Shreveport Downtown Airport. In order to properly pay and report this fee, the TNC shall include in its system the geo-fencing of the perimeter of each airport property.
The bolded sections above, 102-88(c)(3) – (5), are found in the Shreveport ordinances, but not Monroe’s. Additionally, there are other subtle differences aside from extra fees found in the Shreveport ordinance, such as:
TNC vehicles shall display trade dress identifying each vehicle as an authorized provider for the TNC system.
Under the financial responsibility of transportation network companies subheading, Shreveport requires:
The certificate of insurance shall further identify the city, its elected officials, officers, directors, employees as additional insureds under such insurance.
As we identified back in February when the ordinance was passed for Shreveport, this financial burden only impacts the TNCs and seems to disincentivize providers such as Lyft and Uber. It may be time to revisit this ordinance to see if there is room to negotiate in a way that is beneficial for both the municipality and the companies involved. While the service fee and airport fee seem like a great revenue stream for the city and gives them an assurance that all of the wealth generated through TNCs aren’t exported, it seems to be the breaking point.