T&E Items 1,2
&
3
March 10,2015
Worksession 4
MEMORANDUM
Committee members should bring the packet and addenda from the January 26, February
9, and February 27 worksessions.
TO:
FROM:
Transportation, Infrastructure,
Ene~.
y
N
d Environment Committee
Josh Hamlin, Legislative Attomeq4
SUBJECT:
Worksession:
Expedited Bill 53-14, Taxicabs - Licenses - Vehicle Requirements
- Driver Identification Cards; Bill 54-14, Taxicabs Transportation Network Service
Requirements; and Bill 55-14, Taxicabs Centralized Electronic Dispatch System.
Expedited Bill 53-14, Taxicabs - Licenses - Vehicle Requirements - Driver
Identification Cards sponsored by Councilmembers Floreen, Berliner, Riemer, and then Council
President Rice; Bill 54-14, Taxicabs - Transportation Network Service - Requirements,
sponsored by Councilmembers Berliner and Floreen; and Bill 55-14, Taxicabs - Centralized
Electronic Dispatch System, sponsored by Councilmember Riemer, were introduced on October
28,2014. A public hearing on all three Bills was held on December 2,2014. Prior worksessions
on the Bills were held on January 26, February 9, and February 27, 2015.
Expedited
Bill 53-14 would:
penn it the holder of a fleet Passenger Vehicle License to grant a sublicense to another
person;
increase the age limits for vehicles used as taxicabs;
amend certain requirements for color and markings of vehicles used as taxicabs;
allow software-based meters to be used in taxicabs; and
amend certain requirements for temporary identification cards for taxicab drivers.
Bill 54-14 would:
require a transportation network application company to obtain a license to operate in the
County;
require a transportation network application company and transportation network
operator to meet certain registration requirements;
require a vehicle used to provide transportation network service to meet certain standards;
require a transportation network application company and transportation network
operator to
be
insured; and
require a transportation network application company and transportation network
operator to meet certain accessibility standards.
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Bill 55-14 would require the County Department of Transportation (DOT) to implement a
centralized electronic taxicab dispatch system, and permit the Director to require certain taxicab
operators to participate in the centralized electronic taxicab dispatch system.
December 2,2014 Public Hearing
The T&E Committee held a public hearing on all three Bills on December 2, 2014. There
were 30 speakers at the hearing, representing a wide range of perspectives on the issues covered
in the Bills. Public hearing testimony is summarized and included in the packet for the January
26 worksession.
January 26, 2015 T&E Worksession
,The Committee held its first worksession on the Bills on January 26,2015. The packet
for that worksession raised a number of issues of common concern to the owners and operators
of "traditional" regulated taxicabs and the INCs and drivers that Bill 54-14 would regulate.
These issues also encompass many of the amendments to existing law regulating taxicabs that
are proposed in Expedited Bill 53-14. The Committee discussed the issues of insurance,
fares/rate setting, driver background checks, and began discussion of the question of licensing
'
both INCs and INC drivers.
February 9,2015 T&E Worksession
The Committee held a second worksession on the Bills on February 9, 2015. In that
worksession, the Committee discussed licensing, vehicle standards,
data
and trip records, and
customer service, as well as proposed changes to Chapter 53 received from the Coalition for a
Competitive Taxicab Industry ("CCTI") after the introduction of the Bills.
February 27,2015 T&E Worksession
The Committee held a third worksession on the Bills on February 27, 2015.
The
Committee discussed several of these issues raised by a number of taxicab drivers through the
Montgomery County Professional Drivers Union ("MCPDU") about their relationships with
taxicab companies at that worksession. Specifically, the Committee considered:
(1)
whether to
set caps on lease rates for taxicabs; (2) whether to permit taxicab drivers to use their own credit
card processing terminals, and whether to cap rates that fleets may charge their drivers for credit
card processing; (3) whether to limit other charges imposed on drivers by fleets; (4) whether the
County should develop and require the use of uniform lease contracts; (5) whether the dispute
resolution currently required to be provided for in operating agreements between fleets and
drivers should include binding arbitration; and (6) how best to ensure the availability of
accessible transportation with the entry ofINCs into the market.
At the February 27 worksession, the Committee also received written statements from 11
drivers, nine who either lease from or affiliate with Barwood, and two who drive for Orange Taxi
(©475-483). The Orange drivers described the impact of the entry ofINCs on their livelihood,
and generally expressed the view that INCs and taxicabs should be subject to the same rules.
The Barwood drivers universally opposed making drivers employees, lease caps, and the
proposal to make PVLs non-transferable.
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Recent Changes in the Regulatory Landscape
As discussed in the packet for the February 27 worksession, there have been recent
developments both in Virginia and Maryland related to the regulation of TNCs, and as
anticipated, there are now bills in both the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates that would
create a statutory framework to regulate TNCs. With bills now under consideration in
Annapolis, the County's ability to regulate TNCs is subject to the actions of both the Public
Service Commission and the General Assembly.
Maryland Public Service Commission
In Maryland, the Public Service Commission (PSC) is considering regulations to regulate
TNCs under the existing legislative framework. The proposed regulations are more restrictive to
TNCs than the recently passed laws
in
the District of Columbia and Virginia Key provisions of
the proposed regulations include:
(1)
a requirement that each TNC obtain a permit from the PSC;
(2) a requirement that each TNC driver obtain a for-hire driver's license, which requires a
fingerprint-based criminal background check; and (3) insurance requirements that are identical to
other passenger vehicles-for-hire.
Should they be adopted as proposed, the PSC regulations would apparently apply
in
Montgomery County. While the regulations would arguably not preempt the COlUlty'S ability to
regulate TNCs as providers of taxicab service,
per se,
if applicable in the COlUlty, they would
overlap any COlUlty TNC law and create a duplicative regulatory regime. The Committee
submitted comments on the proposed regulations on March 3, requesting that the PSC clarify
that local jurisdictions that regulate taxicabs would retain the authority to regulate TNCs as
taxicabs if the regulations are adopted (©442-446).
Maryland General Assembly
Senate Bi1l868 (SB868) (©447-465) and House Bill 1231 (HB1231)1 were cross-filed in
the General Assembly on February 27 and March 2 respectively. The bills would define and
regulate TNCs
in
a manner consistent with the Virginia and the District of Columbia in key
areas. Generally, the bills would:
(1)
exclude TNCs from the definition of "common carrier" and
the provisions of Title 10 of the Public Utilities Article; (2) define "transportation network
services" as something distinct from the existing modes of for-hire transportation; (3) require
TNCs to register with the State and conduct, or have a third-party conduct, background checks of
prospective drivers; (4) require TNC drivers to register with the TNC, and the TNC to maintain a
registry of drivers, but not require individual licensing of TNC drivers; (5) impose insurance
requirements similar to other jurisdictions that have permitted the hybrid coverage with
requirements depending on whether the driver is logged on to the app or has accepted a request
for transportation; and (6) require TNC vehicles to meet certain standards. SB868 has been
referred to the Finance Committee.
http://mgaleg.maryland.gov!webmga/frmMain.aspx?pid=billpage&tab=subject3&id::hb1231&stab=Ol&ys::2015RS
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Issues for Committee Discussion in this Worksession
In
this worksession, the Committee will discuss the remaining provisions of a proposal
from Councilmember Riemer addressing concerns raised by a number of taxicab drivers through
the Montgomery County Professional Drivers Union ("MCPDU") about their relationships with
taxicab companies, the transferability of Passenger Vehicle Licenses, including the sublicensing
provisions in Bill 53-14, and the centralized electronic dispatch system that is the subject of Bill
55-14, along with related provisions in the Riemer proposal.
Guide to attachments: Circle numbers referenced up to 230 are in the January 26
worksession packet, and circle numbers 231-258 are in the January 26 addendum. Circle
numbers 259-310 are in the February 9 worksession packet. Circle numbers 311-383 are in the
February 27 worksession packet, circle numbers 384-435 are in the February 27 addendum, and
circle numbers 436-441 are in the February 27 addendum # 2.
Remaining "driver protection" provisions in the Riemer proposal
On February 23, Councilmember Riemer sent a memorandum to the Committee members
asking their consideration of a number of amendments to Chapter 53 that would address the
concerns raised by the MCPDU drivers (©349-362). The Riemer proposal would:
• Create a commission, appointed by the Executive and confirmed by the Council,
composed of two representatives of fleets and two representatives of drivers to
recommend to the Director of DOT:
);>
Maximum taxicab lease rates charged by fleets;
);>
Uniform agreements that must be used by fleets; and
);>
A list of types and amounts of other allowed charges.
• Require that all operating agreements between fleets and drivers or affiliates:
);>
Not exceed a term of one year;
);>
Not be subject to automatic renewal; and
);>
Provide for dispute resolution culminating in binding arbitration.
• Require that all operating agreements between fleets and drivers provide that a fleet
ensures that the driver will earn from fares and tips, less expenses, an amount at least
equal to the County minimum wage.
• Limit the credit card processing charge imposed by a fleet to 5% of the transaction.
• Provide for a mechanism in the operation of the centralized dispatch that would require
the Director of DOT to direct a contribution, from a driver's earnings through the
dispatch, to a third party trade or advocacy organization designated by the driver.
The provisions of the Riemer proposal not discussed at the February 27 worksession are
discussed below.
Should there be a mechanism for the drivers to send a voluntary contribution to the entity of
their chOOSing?
The Riemer proposal would add language
to
the new section
in
Bill 55-14 establishing
the centralized electronic dispatch that would require the Director to direct funds that would
otherwise go to the driver to a third party designated by the driver (lines 26-29 at © 352-353).
The specific language is:
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"Upon written authorization of a driver, the Director, through the system, must
deduct the amount designated by the driver from the driver's fare reimb.ursement
and forward that amount to a third party trade or advocacy organization
designated by the driver."
This provision would essentially make DOT part of the fundraising apparatus of the
"third party trade or advocacy organization," and is analogous to the "dues checkoff" in
employer-employee relationships, whereby the employer deducts an amount from an employee's
paycheck for the purpose of paying the employee's union dues. To the extent costs are incurred
by the County in performing this function, it would amount to a sort of subsidy to such
organization. There is nothing that would prevent a driver from making such a contribution
directly, after reimbursement for fares earned on the centralized dispatch.
In
a position paper for this Worksession submitted on March 5 (©471-474), CCTI stated
its position on this provision as follows: "CCTI takes no direct position on this provision except
that any authorization for deductions must also include the variety of payments that are routinely
required whether voluntary or not."
Should contracts between fleets and drivers or affiliates require that a fleet not take adverse
action against a driver or affiliate without just cause?
The Riemer ptoposal would prohibit a licensee from taking adverse action against an
affiliate without just cause (lines 255-256 at ©361). When the Committee discussed requiring a
provision in contracts between fleets and drivers that would provide for binding arbitration to
resolve disputes, Lee Barnes of Barwood Taxi raised concern about whether any driver dismissal
would be subject to arbitration. This provision would likely make that the case. CCTI opposes
this provision, arguing both that it is "impossibly vague" and unnecessary in light of the "fierce
competition for drivers" (©472-473).
In discussions with stakeholders up to this point, staff is unaware of allegations of unjust
dismissals and, in fact, has heard from both sides that fleets are having trouble keeping their
taxicabs on the road for lack of drivers. With the entry of TNCs into the market, the idea that
fleets are struggling to retain drivers is likely true.
In
the absence of allegations of unjust
dismissals of drivers, requiring this provision seems like it may be a solution in search of a
problem.
Should a fleet have to guarantee that its drivers net hourly earnings, after expenses, be at least
equal to the amount o/the County minimum wage?
This proposal raises both operational and legal questions. First, given the way taxicab
drivers earn their money, it would appear to be impossible to get an accurate account of what
exactly they are earning
per hour
of work. How would their "hours worked" be determined?
How would their expenses, such a fuel costs, be documented? How would the amount of cash
tips
be
determined? There may be ways to
estimate
some of these items, but using estimates to
enforce a very specific earning requirement is problematic.
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From a legal perspective, the requirement that a fleet ensures that a driver earn an amount
equivalent 'to the County minimum wage may raise some concern about the independent
contractor status of drivers. The Internal Revenue Service applies a 20 factor test in determining
whether a person is an employee or independent contractor. Requiring a fleet to essentially
guarantee that a driver earns a minimum amount would militate in favor of a finding that the
person is an employee in two of those factors: "how the business pays the worker" and "the
extent to which the worker can realize a profit or loss." Employment status exists on a
continuum. Putting the fleet in the position where it may pay the worker, and removing the risk
of loss for the worker, would move the relationship toward employee on the continuum. It is not
certain that this requirement would result in a driver being deemed an employee, but the prospect
should be considered, along with the practical difficulty in determining the hours worked and
tips received by the driver.
In its March 5 submittal, CCTI stated its opposition to this requirement, contending that it
would both require the establishment of an employer-employee relationship and that it would be
impossible to implement (©473).
Transfer ofPVLs
Should the current restrictions on PVL transfers be relaxed, or in the alternative, should PVLs
be made non-transferable? Should the fleet/independent driver balance be altered to permit
more individual PVL holders?
Under current law, all transfers ofPVLs must be approved by the Director of DOT, and
the law prohibits the Director from approving a transfer of any license if the transferee already
holds, or would then hold, more than 40% of the total number of licenses -then in effect.
It
also
prohibits the approval of the transfer of a license to an individual of a license issued to a fleet if:
(l)
the same fleet has already transferred more than 2 licenses to individuals during that calendar
year; or (2) the transfer would result in individuals holding more than 30% of the total number of
licenses then in effect. Finally, the law generally prohibits the approval of a transfer of a license
if the license was issued or transferred within the previous 3 years.
The CCTI Draft includes amendments to MCC § 53-204 that would remove the above­
described restrictions on the transfer of PVLs. Transfers would still be subject to the approval of
the Director under the process set forth in MCC § 53-204(b) as follows:
(b)
A license may be transferred only if:
(l)
the licensee notifies the Department in writing of the proposed
transfer not less than 30 days before the date of the proposed
transfer, specifying all terms and conditions of the proposed
transfer and the identity of the proposed transferee;
(2) the Director finds that the proposed transferee meets all
requirements of this Chapter and applicable regulations; and
(3) the licensee surrenders the license when the Director approves the
transfer.
The restrictions on the transfer ofPVLs from fleets to individuals no more than two per
year, and no more
than
30% of the PVLs in effect to be held by individuals - are based on the
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two-fold rationale of preventing fleets from taking windfall profits based on the market prices of
the licenses and limiting the fragmentation of the taxicab industry. The market forces in 2004,
when these provisions were enacted, clearly differ from those today. Certainly, the market value
ofPVLs has diminished with the entry oflNCs into the marketplace, and the increasing number
on individual TNC drivers may render the attempt to prevent the fragmentation of the industry an
academic exercise.
It
should also be noted that the advocacy group representing at least some
taxicab drivers when Chapter 53 was last comprehensively amended in 2004
2
did not support a
limitation on the percentage of individual ownership of licenses. This group actually advocated
for much greater individual ownership, while retaining an affiliation requirement.
The current law's restriction on a transferee holding more than 40% of the licenses in
effect is a clear attempt to prevent a consolidation in the industry, leading to diminished
competition and presumably less incentive to deliver quality service. Again, with the entry of
TNCs to the for-hire transportation market, competition for a large, and likely growing,
percentage of the rides
3
is essentially guaranteed, regardless of any consolidation of existing
licensees. That said, if the Committee believes that it remains important to prevent
consolidation, this restriction could be retained while the other restrictions are removed.
On February 24, CCTI submitted a "white paper" the justification for a cap on the
number of taxicabs, and discussing the issues related to transferability of PVLs (©379-383).
In
the paper, CCTI argues for a limited number of taxicabs, citing positions stated County
consultant Bruce Schaller. CCTI's positions are that a limited number of taxicabs ensures higher
quality customer service, that allowing PVLs to have transfer value is intrinsic to the established
taxicab market, and that transferability of PVLs is critical to the viability of taxicab companies.
In contrast to CCTI's request to relax transfer requirements, the Riemer proposal would:
• Require the issuance of 200 new PVLs to individuals in 2016, and require that 50% of
licenses issued after that be issued to individuals;
• Make PVLs non-transferable; and
• Establish a fund to provide relief to PVL holders that can show a significant decline in
value from the price that they paid for the license.
Staff understands that Councilmember Riemer intends to revise his proposal to require that the
200 PVLs to individuals in 2016 go to individuals
who only own one PVL,
and to remove the
provision making PVLs non-transferable.
DOT position:
In
his letter to Councilmember Berliner dated February 27, 2015, Acting
Director Al Roshdieh stated positions of DOT relevant to this issue.
Mr.
Roshdieh said that
DOT has no objection to a prohibition of future transfer of PVLs from fleets to individuals
-(apparently in response to the Riemer proposal to make them non-transferable), and no objection
to raising the percentage of individual PVLs (from 20%) for future issuances (©437).
In
a letter to Councilmember Berliner dated February 26, 2015 (©466-470), David
Mohebbi, president of CCTI, advocated a new PVL issuance to both fleets and drivers, and urged
2
The
group in 2004 was called Cabdrivers Allied for Better Service (CABS).
S
TNCs do not compete with traditional taxicabs for street hails, or rides booked by telephone, but the number of
rides booked by app-based dispatch is growing and, for a variety of reasons, will almost certainly continue to grow.
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the retention of transferability of PVLs.
In
its March 5 position paper, CCTI specifically
addressed the proposed issuance of 200 new licenses in 2016, contending that adding 200 new
taxicabs would "significantly [negatively] affect driver income."
CCTI recommended the
issuance of 100 new licenses in 2016, with future issuances made in accordance with the existing
provisions of
§
53-205. CCTI also supports the Riemer proposal's allocation of future license
issuances of 50% to individuals and 50% to fleets (©473).
The issuance of a significant number of individual PVLs would have the effect of moving
the County away from the fleet-based model that was discussed and adopted when the County
last comprehensively revised Chapter 53 in 2004. Two memoranda from Bruce Schaller, the
consultant engaged by the County to study the County's taxicab market as part of its 2004
revision, are particularly pertinent to this discussion (©364-373, 374-378). For a specific
discussion of fleet- vs. individual driver-based systems, see ©376. The Committee should
consider whether circumstances have changed sufficiently or otherwise warrant a move away
from a fleet based model. The entry of a large (or unlimited) number of TNCs into the market
may have sufficiently altered the landscape to abandon the current fleet/individual balance.
However, in the absence of the self-regulating rating system used by TNCs, is does seem likely
that a de facto removal of the cap on licenses (as the issuance of 200 new individual licenses
would seem to do) could lead to diminished customer service.
If the Committee desires to increase the proportion of individual PVL holders, it should
consider alternatives to the issuance of a large quantity of new individual licenses without
consideration for the public need. Given the persistent allegations of large numbers of fleet
taxicabs sitting idle, the Committee might consider whether it is more desirable to. reclaim,
through revocation or nonrenewal, and redistribute "idle" licenses through more active
enforcement or strengthening of the continuous operation requirement.
Should the County establish a fund to provide reliefto PVL holders that can show a Significant
decline in value from the price that they paidfor the license?
The Riemer proposal would require the creation of a "licensee reimbursement fund" to
provide relief to PVL holders who can demonstrate a significant decline in value of their licenses
from the purchase price (lines
68~
73 at © 354). The intent of this fund would be to assist the
estimated 40 individuals who purchased PVLs from fleets at market prices in prior years, and
have seen the value of the PVLs decline precipitously since that time. As drafted it would,
however, apply to any PVL holder that could demonstrate a "significant" devaluation from the
purchase price. The proposal would authorize the Director to deposit funds from the issuance of
new licenses into the fund, and would require the Director to administer the funds according to
method (2) regulations. The regulations would be key to the effectiveness of such a fund, as
would the source and amount of funds deposited into it. Presumably any decline in value would
be based on the difference in the price paid by the holder for the PVL, and the payment received
by the holder at the time the holder transfers the PVL. If the County issues a significant number
of new licenses, there is a possibility that such a transfer could result in the holder recovering
less than the issuance cost. The Committee should inquire of DOT's expectations on how
it
would administer such a fund.
Sublicensing ofPVLs
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Bill 53-14 would amend the existing law
to
allow a fleet PVL holder to grant a sublicense
to a vehicle owner to provide taxicab service under the license. See lines 7-33 at ©2-3. This
amendment is an effort to ease the capital costs of fleets by allowing fleets to pennit a taxicab
driver who owns their own taxicab vehicle to drive the taxicab under the authority of the fleet's
license. Fleets could then operate more like
mcs,
but using licensed taxicabs. Current law
requires that a license be issued only to the owner of each taxicab.
Some jurisdictions that use medallion systems, such as New York and Chicago, pennit
such arrangements as "medallion-only leases." Allowing the use of fleet PVLs by owners of
taxicabs through sublicensing could have the desirable effect of getting more taxicabs on the
road by giving fleets more flexibility in the way the PVLs are used.
It
would also allow taxicab
owner/drivers .the option of driving their vehicle without having to purchase a license outright.
Bill 53-14 requires approval by the DOT Director of each grant of a sublicense, and grantees are
subject to all requirements of PVL holders, which should provide necessary oversight of such
arrangement~.
DOT
position:
In
his February 27, 2015 letter to Councilmember Riemer, Acting
Director Roshdieh stated that DOT "has no objection [to sublicensing] as long as drivers have an
opportunity to seek legal counsel of the contract in advance of its execution and the term of the
sublicense does not exceed the term of the PVL" (©4.37).
Centralized Electronic Dispatch
Bill 55-14 represents an effort to adopt a program being pursued in Chicago and the
District of Columbia (©191-195), and considered in New York City (©196-197), to create a
digital dispatch system for all taxicabs.
intent of the Bill is twofold:
(1)
create a mechanism
by which currently-regulated taxicabs can deliver taxicab services in a manner competitive with
TNCs; and (2) be a part of a uniform regional dispatch system that would better serve the
transportation needs of passengers in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
The
In his February 23 proposal, Councilmember Riemer, in addition to requesting
Committee support for the driver protection measures discussed above, requested that Bill 55-14
be amended to require preference given to a vendor providing a dispatch using open standards,
and a vendor providing a dispatch that can include the most jurisdictions in the Washington, DC
metropolitan area. The Riemer proposal would also remove the requirement that a fleet or
association provide a dispatch service, and the requirement that all drivers must drive for or
affiliate with a fleet or association.
Should the County establish a centralized electronic dispatch? How?
The D.C. regulations require the establishment of a taxicab cooperative,4 while Bill 55­
14, modeled on the Chicago law, merely requires the establishment of a centralized electronic
dispatch system by DOT. Bill 55-14 is drafted to impose a general requirement, and leave the
details of implementation to DOT. Input from DOT on how it would administer an electronic
dispatch, and from fleets on how they would integrate it into their operations will be important in
determining whether it needs additional specificity. Given the fact that there is not a clear
4
http://dctaxi.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/dc%20taxi/event content/attachments/Chapters16and99.pdf
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example of successful implementation of a centralized dispatch, because
it
is a new concept, a
general approach is probably advisable.
The vendor preferences in the Riemer proposal would further the goal of greater regional
interoperability of the dispatch, which would allow taxicabs to better compete with mcs and
improve customer service. CCTI opposes the preference for a vendor providing a dispatch that
can include the most regional jurisdictions, instead arguing that vendor selection "should be
based entirely on the quality and cost ofthe system sold (©472).
Shouldjleets be required to have dispatch services? Should drivers be required to affiliate with a
jleet or join an association?
Current law requires drivers to drive for or affiliate with a fleet or association (MCC §53­
201). Each fleet or association must operate a dispatch system (MCC §53-220). Typically, in
suburban jurisdictions, most rides come from dispatched calls, not street hails or taxi stands.
Quality dispatch service is necessary to maximize the usefulness of PVLs and provide timely
service over a large geographic area for prearranged rides.
It
is in the provision of dispatch that
taxicab fleets have a built a great deal of their value.
The establishment of a centralized electronic dispatch used by all taxicabs appears to
have great potential, but that potential has yet to be realized in any other jurisdiction that we
might look to as an example. The unproven status of these sorts of systems justifies caution in
considering the removal of the dispatch and affiliation requirements. Additionally, the
Committee should be mindful of the fact that not all passengers use smartphones or pay with
credit cards. Market demand may drive the continuation of
2417
telephone dispatch to serve these
passengers. However, the removal of the existing dispatch and affiliation requirements could,
theoretically, result in a situation where these passengers have limited or no access to pre­
arranged taxicab service. Also, regulation of the majority of PVLs via five fleets is a different
proposition than regulating several hundred individual, unaffiliated drivers, and could prove
extremely challenging to DOT.
CCTI supports the elimination of required "discrete dispatch systems," saying that "with
the advent of cell phone apps, the traditional dispatch models have been rendered almost
obsolete." CCTI opposes the elimination of the affiliation requirement, arguing that because
DOT regulates through the fleets, removing the requirement would place an enormous burden on
DOT.
DOT position:
In his February 27 letter to Councilmember Berliner, Acting DOT
Director Roshdieh requested that individual PVL holders be required to affiliate with a fleet or
association (©437).
This packet contains:
Committee comments to PSC on RM55
Maryland General Assembly SB 868 (2015)
CCTI Letter to Councilmember Berliner, February 26, 2015
CCTI Position paper
Written statements from
11
taxicab drivers
F:\LAW\BILLS\1454 Taxicabs· Transportation Network Service\T&E Memo 03.10.l5.Doc
Circle
#
442
447
466
471
475
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNOL
ROCKVILLE. MARYLAND
ROGER BERLINER
COUNCILMEMBER
DISTRICT
1
CHAIRMAN
TRANSPORTATION. INFRASTRUCTURE
ENERGY
&
ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE
March 3,2015
David Collins, Executive Secretary
Public Service Commission of Maryland
William Donald Schaefer Tower
6 St. Paul St., 16
th
Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
Re:
Dear Executive Secretary Collins,
RM55
Enclosed for filing, please fmd the originals and seventeen (17) copies of the Comments of the
Montgomery County Council Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy
&
Environment Committee,
regarding Draft Regulations to the Code of Maryland Regulations ("COMAR") 20.95.01, Transportation
(passenger-for Hire).
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Sincerely,
o ci ember Roger Berliner
Chair, Montgomery County Council
Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy
&
Environment Committee
Councilmember Nancy Floreen, Member
Councilmember Tom Hucker, Member
SrELLA B. WERNER OFFICE BUILDING' 100 MARYLAND AVENUE, 6
1lt
FLOOR,
ROCKVILlE,
MARYlAND 20850
240-n7-7828
OR
240-m-7900,
TIY
240-n7-7914,
FAX
240-n7-7989
WWW.MONTGOMERYCOUNTYMD.GOV
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BEFORE THE
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
OF MARYLAND
Revisions to COMAR 20.95.01 -
Transportation
'"
'"
*
Administrative Docket
RM55
*
'"
*
'"
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Comments of the Montgomery County Council Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy
&
Environment Committee
Regarding Draft Regulations to the Code of Maryland Regulations
("COMAR")
20.95.01,
Transportation (passenger-for Hire)
In
accordance with the February 18, 2015 Notice of Initiating Rulemaking and Rule
Making Session of the Public Service Commission ("Commission"), the members of the
Montgomery County Council Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy
&
Environment Committee,
Chair Roger Berliner and Councilmembers Nancy Floreen and Tom Hucker, submits these
comments on the proposed revisions
to
the Code ofMaryland Regulations ("COMAR") 20.95.01
regarding Transportation (passenger-for Hire).
Background
Transportation Network Companies (1NCs) are a new mode ofdelivery of for-hire driving
service using smartphone applications to connect drivers with passengers. While they employ an
innovative and consumer appreciated business model, they do compete with traditional limousines,
sedans, and taxicabs that are variously regulated by the state and local jurisdictions.
The County Council
has
begun the process oflegislatively creating a framework to regulate
UberX and Lyft operating in the County, as they most ciosely compete with the taxicabs that we
regulate. The County is asserting jurisdiction over the regulation ofthese
mc
drivers and vehicles
under State law inasmuch as the vehicles operating using the
mc
application are providing a type
of "taxicab services" and are a type of ,'taxicabs" as defined under State and County law.
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The roots of the County's authority to regulate taxicabs date back to 1945, when the
General Assembly enacted Chapter 941 ofthe Laws of Maryland,
§§
1130A-C (1945). "Taxicab"
is defined under that law as:
... any motor vehicle for hire, designed to carry seven persons or
less, including driver, operated upon any public street or highway in
Montgomery County, or, on call or demand, accepting or soliciting
passengers indiscriminately for transportation for hire between such
points along public streets or highways in this State, as may be
directed by the passenger or passengers so being transported;
provided that nothing in this sub-title shall be construed to include
as a taxicab, a motor vehicle operated, with the approval of
the
Public Service Commission, on fixed routes and schedules.
Laws of Maryland, Chapter 941,
§
1130A (1945).
Chapter 941 expressly "authorized and
empowered [the County] to enact, amend and repeal ordinances, providing regulations for the
ownership and operation oftaxicabs in Montgomery County" in order to protect the "public health,
safety and welfare of the citizens of Montgomery County, or other persons who may use taxicab
facilities." The 1945 law was enacted before Montgomery County adopted charter home rule in
1948. Since the County has adopted home rule, the Council,has enacted numerous amendments
to the County's taxicab regulations.
The current definition of "taxicab" under State law is found in
§
1-101 (ii)( 1) ofthe Public
Utilities Article of the Maryland Code. Under this definition:
Taxicab means a motor vehicle for hire that:
(i)
is designed to' carry seven or fewer individuals, including the
driver; and
(ii)
is used
to
accept or solicit passengers for transportation
between points along public streets as the passengers request."
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"Provide taxicab services" is defined in § lO-lOl(h) ofthe Public Utilities Article as follows:
Provide taxicab services" means to operate a motor vehicle for hire
that, in addition to other services:
(1)
is advertised or held out
to
the public as a taxicab or as
providing taxicab services;
(2)
regardless of how or when engaged, provides for-hire
service between points chosen by the passenger and for a fare that is
based on the dist8nce traveled, the time elapsed, or both; or
(3)
is engaged by the passenger for service between points
chosen by the passenger that is provided through:
(i)
(ii)
hail from the street or other location; or
request made at a taxi stand or other location where
'the motor vehicle is' standing and waiting for a
request for service.
Vehicles using a TNC app to connect with passengers are operating and providing service
in a manner consistent
wi~
these State law definitions, and are thus
in
our view subject to County
jurisdiction as taxicabs. Further, it is our belief that regulation of these vehicles by the County is
wholly appropriate given that these TNCs compete directly with the taxicabs that we already
regulate. TNCs such as UberX and Lyft provide the same service as taxicabs, albeit in a different
manner, so it stands to reason that they should be subject to regulatory oversight by
the
same body.
Moreover, there is a strong policy rationale behind this local control of taxicabs and their
TNC competitors. The communities of Maryland will have different experiences with these new
services. We expect Montgomery and Prince George's Counties to be stronger markets
than
our
more rural jurisdictions. While equanimity across jurisdictions is important to limit the difficulty
of doing business for the TNCs,' individual jurisdictions may have specific needs best addressed
throughlocalregulatio~
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One such important need is the provision of service for the disabled. A requirement for
such service is placed on our locally-regulated taxicabs.
As
mcs look to represent more and more
ofthe transportation-for-hire market in our community, it is essential that Montgomery County be
able to guarantee, through surcharges or direct requirements on companies, that our disabled
residents have reliable transportation.
It
is also not out ofthe question that TNCs may be called on
to participate in user-side subsidy programs in the future.
In
addition, the provision of such
services raises public safety concerns, and Montgomery County should have the legal ability to
address those concerns as it sees
fit.
Comment
For the legal and policy reasons set forth above, the Commission should clarify that the
proposed regulations that are the subject of RM55 are not intended to pre-empt Montgomery
County or other jurisdictions that already regulate taxicabs from regulating the industry's
competitors as well. Our Department of Transportation is an existing regulatory body that has
comprehensively regulated taxi cab fleets over the years, a role can easily be broadened to regulate
these new entrants in a manner that also recognizes their distinct differences. We feel that our
residents
will
be best-served by the County promoting a .competitive local environment,
guaranteeing public safety, and enabling additional service for the disabled.
We appreciate this opportunity to comment and
see~
clarification the draft revisions to
COMAR 20.95.01, Transportation (Passenger-for Hire). We look forward to participating further
in the· discussion of these regulations and the issue of regulating Transportation Network
Companies.
submitted,
cilmember Roger Berliner
Chair, Montgomery County Council
Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy
&
Environment Committee
Councilmember Nancy Floreen, Member
Councilmember Tom Hucker, Member
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SENATE BILL 868
C5
By:
Senator Ferguson
Introduced and read first time: February 27, 2015
Assigned to: Rules
A BILL ENTITLED
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AN ACT concerning
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Public
Utilities ­ Transportation Network Services
FOR the purpose of authorizing the establishment of transportation network services in
the State; authorizing an individual to submit an application for registration as a
transportation network operator; requiring a transportation network company to
conduct, or have a third party conduct, a certain criminal history records check using
a certain database and obtain and review a driving record check for each applicant
before approving an application for the applicant; prohibiting a transportation
network company from approving an application for an applicant who has been
convicted of certain crimes; requiring a transportation network operator to meet
certain qualifications; requiring a transportation network company to register with
the Public Service Commission and create an application process for individuals to
apply for registration as a transportation network operator; requiring a
transportation network company to maintain certain records and a certain registry
of transportation network operators; requiring a transportation network company to
submit certain information to the Commission; requiring a transportation network
company to conduct, or have a third party conduct, a safety inspection of a motor
vehicle that will be used to provide transportation network services before the motor
vehicle is used to provide transportation network services; requiring the safety
inspection to be consistent with certain standards; requiring a transportation
network company to provide certain information on the transportation network
company's Web site; authorizing a transportation network company or a
transportation network operator to provide transportation network services at no
cost, for a suggested donation, or for a certain fare; requiring a transportation
network company or a transportation network operator to disclose certain fare
information to a passenger before the passenger arranges a trip with a
transportation network company or a transportation network operator; requiring a
transportation network company to transmit a certain electronic receipt to a
passenger on completion of providing transportation network services; requiring a
transportation network company to implement a certain policy on the use of drugs
or alcohol while an individual is arranging or providing transportation network
EXPLANATION:
CAPITALS INDICATE MATTER ADDED TO EXISTING LAW.
[Brackets] indicate matter deleted from existing law.
111111111 1111111111111111111111111111111
@)
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services; reqUITmg a transportation network company to adopt a certain policy
prohibiting discriminatory conduct; requiring a transportation network operator to
comply with a certain policy and applicable laws regarding discriminatory conduct;
requiring a transportation network company and a transportation network operator
to maintain certain insurance coverage; authorizing certain insurance requirements
to be satisfied in a certain manner; specifying the types of insurer that may issue
certain required insurance; providing that certain required insurance shall be
deemed to satisfy a certain financial responsibility requirement; authorizing certain
insurers to exclude certain coverage and duty to defend if the exclusion is expressly
set forth in a certain policy under certain circumstances; setting forth the types of
coverage that the right to exclude coverage and duty
to
indemnify and defend may
apply to under certain circumstances; requiring a certain insurer to notify a certain
insured party that the insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify certain persons
for liability for a loss under certain circumstances; requiring certain insurers to make
certain disclosures in a certain manner; requiring a transportation network operator
to provide certain insurance information if a certain accident occurs; requiring a
transportation network operator to cooperate to facilitate the exchange of certain
information under certain circumstances; requiring a motor vehicle used to provide
transportation network services to meet certain criteria and display a certain trade
dress under certain circumstances; requiring a transportation network company to
ensure that the company's Web site is accessible to the blind and visually impaired
and
to
the deaf and hard-of-hearing and report to the Commission on increasing
access to wheelchair-accessible transportation network services on or before a
certain date; prohibiting a transportation network company from imposing certain
additional or special charges on an individual with a disability for providing certain
services or requiring that an individual with a disability be accompanied by an
attendant; requiring that if a transportation network operator accepts a certain ride
request from a passenger with a disability who uses a mobility device the operator
shall stow the device in the vehicle under certain circumstances; prohibiting a
transportation network company from charging a trip cancellation fee and requiring
a transportation network company to issue a certain refund in a timely manner
under certain circumstances; requiring a transportation network operator to treat
an individual with disabilities in a certain manner and properly and safely handle
certain equipment; authorizing the Commission to inspect certain records of a
transportation network company under certain circumstances; providing that
certain records are not subject to disclosure under the Maryland Public Information
Act; prohibiting the Commission or other public entity to disclose certain records or
information unless the disclosure is required by a subpoena or court order; .requiring
the Commission or other public entity to promptly inform a transportation network
company before disclosing certain records or information as required by a subpoena
or court order; providing that transportation network companies and transportation
network operators are governed exclusively by certain provisions and regulations;
prohibiting a county or municipal corporation from imposing certain taxes or license
requirements on a transportation application company or transportation network
operator under certain circumstances or subjecting a transportation network
company to a local permitting process, rate limitation, or other local requirement;
specifying that a transportation network company and a transportation network
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operator are not common carriers; exempting a motor vehicle used to provide
transportation network services from certain provisions of law relating to for-hire
driving services; specifying that certain provisions oflaw relating to for-hire driving
services do not apply to a transportation network company or a transportation
network operator; providing for the application of certain provisions; defining certain
terms; and generally relating to transportation network services.
BY repealing and reenacting, without amendments,
Article - Public Utilities
Section 1-101(a)
Annotated Code of Maryland
(2010 Replacement Volume and 2014 Supplement)
BY repealing and reenacting, with amendments,
Article - Public Utilities
.
Section 1-101(e), (Pp), (qq), and (rr) and 10-102(b)
Annotated Code of Maryland
(2010 Replacement Volume and 2014 Supplement)
BY adding to
Article - Public Utilities
Section 1-101(Pp), (qq), and (rr); 4-101.1; and 10.5-101 through 10.5-112 to be
under the new title "Title 10.5. Transportation Network Services"
Annotated Code of Maryland
(2010 Replacement Volume and 2014 Supplement)
SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF MARYLAND,
That the Laws of Maryland read as follows:
Article ­
Public
Utilities
1-101.
(a)
In this division the following words have the meanings indicated.
(e)
(1)
"Common carrier" means a person, public authority, or federal, State,
district, or municipal transportation unit that is engaged in the public transportation of
persons for hire, by land, water, air, or any combination of them.
(2)
"Common carrier" includes:
(i)
an airline company;
a car company, motor vehicle company, automobile company, or
(ii)
motor bus company;
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SENATE BILL 868
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(iii) a power boat company, vessel-boat company, steamboat
company, or ferry company;
(iv)
company;
(v)
(vi)
(vii)
(3)
a railroad company, street railroad company, or sleeping car
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a taxicab company;
a toll bridge company; and
a transit company.
"Common carrier" does not include:
(i)
(ii)
a county revenue authority;
a toll bridge or other facility owned and operated by a county
revenue authority;
(iii)
(iv)
Resources Article;
(V)
(VI)
A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY; OR
A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR.
a vanpool or launch service; [or]
a for-hire water carrier, as defined in
§
8-744 of the Natural
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(pp)
"TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY" HAS THE MEANING STATED IN
§
10.5-101
OF THIS ARTICLE.
(QQ)
"TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR" HAS THE MEANING STATED
IN
§
10.5-101
OF THIS ARTICLE.
(RR) "TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES" HAS THE MEANING STATED IN
§
10.5-101
OF THIS ARTICLE.
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[(Pp)]
(SS)
persons by:
(1)
"Transportation of persons for hire" means the transportation of
(i)
(ii)
(iii)
regularly scheduled operations;
charter or contract operations; or
tour or sightseeing operations.
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(2)
"Transportation of persons for hire" includes the transportation of
persons, whether on the cooperative plan, carried by a corporation, group, or association
engaged in the transportation of its stockholders, shareholders, or members.
[(qq)]
(TT)
"Water company" means a public service company that owns a water
plant and sells or distributes water for gain.
[err)] (Uu) 'Water plant" means the material, equipment, and property owned by
a water company and used or to be used for or in connection with water service.
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4-101.1.
THIS TITLE DOES NOT APPLY TO:
(1)
(2)
(3)
10-102.
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES;
A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY; OR
A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR.
(1)
This title applies to any motor vehicle used in the transportation of
persons in exchange for remuneration except:
(b)
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[(1)]
(I)
motor vehicles designed to transport more than 15 persons; [and]
[(2)] (II) transportation solely provided by or on behalfof a unit of federal,
State, or local government, or a not-for-profit organization as identified in
§
501(c)(3) and
(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, that requires a criminal history records check and driving
record check for its drivers, for clients of services including:
[(i)]
[(ii)]
[(iii)]
[(iv)]
[(v)]
[(vi)]
[(vii)]
1.
aging support;
developmental and other disabilities;
kidney dialysis;
Medical Assistance Program;
Head Start;
Welfare-to-Work;
mental health; and
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
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7.
¥-Sf
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[(viii)]
8.
job
training;
AND
(III) A MOTOR VEHICLE THAT IS USED BY A TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK OPERATOR TO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES UNDER
TITLE
10.5
OF THIS ARTICLE.
THIS TITLE DOES NOT APPLY TO A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK
COMPANY OR A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR.
TITLE
10.5.
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES.
(2)
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10.5-101.
(A)
IN THIS TITLE THE FOLLOWING WORDS HAVE THE MEANINGS
INDICATED.
(B)
"TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY" MEANS A PERSON THAT USES
A DIGITAL NETWORK OR SOFTWARE APPLICATION TO CONNECT A PASSENGER TO
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES.
(C)
"TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR" MEANS AN INDIVIDUAL WHO
OWNS OR OPERATES A MOTOR VEHICLE THAT IS:
THE INDIVIDUAL'S PERSONAL MOTOR VEHICLE OR A MOTOR
VEHICLE THAT IS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED FOR USE BY THE INDIVIDUAL;
NOT REGISTERED AS A MOTOR CARRIER UNDER
§ 13-423
OF THE
TRANSPORTATION ARTICLE; AND
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(1)
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(2)
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(3)
USED TO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES.
NETWORK
SERVICES"
MEANS
(D)
(1)
"TRANSPORTATION
TRANSPORTATION OF A PASSENGER:
(I)
(II)
COMPANY.
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BETWEEN POINTS CHOSEN BY THE PASSENGER; AND
THAT IS PREARRANGED BY A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK
(2)
"TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES" DOES NOT INCLUDE:
(I)
TAXICAB SERVICE;
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SENATE BILL 868
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(II)
FOR-HIRE SERVICES UNDER TITLE
10
OF THIS ARTICLE; OR
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(III) PASSENGER SERVICES ENGAGED BY A PASSENGER HAILING
A VEHICLE FROM THE STREET.
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10.5-102.
FOR PURPOSES OF THIS TITLE, TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES ARE
CONSIDERED TO:
(1)
BEGIN WHEN A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR ACCEPTS
A REQUEST FOR TRANSPORTATION RECEIVED THROUGH THE TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK COMPANY'S DIGITAL NETWORK OR SOFTWARE APPLICATION;
CONTINUE WHILE THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR
TRANSPORTS THE PASSENGER IN THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR'S
MOTOR VEHICLE; AND
END WHEN THE PASSENGER EXITS THE TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK OPERATOR'S MOTOR VEHICLE.
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(2)
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(3)
10.5-103.
(A)
AN
INDIVIDUAL MAY SUBMIT AN APPLICATION TO A TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK COMPANY FOR REGISTRATION AS A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK
OPERATOR.
(B)
BEFORE APPROVING AN APPLICATION SUBMITTED UNDER SUBSECTION
(A) OF THIS SECTION, A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY SHALL:
(1)
CONDUCT, OR HAVE A THIRD PARTY CONDUCT, A LOCAL AND
NATIONAL CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS CHECK FOR EACH APPLICANT USING THE
FOLLOWING DATABASES:
A MULTISTATE OR MULTIJURISDICTIONAL CRIMINAL
RECORDS LOCATOR OR OTHER SIMILAR COMMERCIAL NATIONWIDE DATABASE WITH
VALIDATION THAT USES A PRIMARY SOURCE SEARCH; AND
(II)
AND
A NATIONAL SEX OFFENDER PUBLIC REGISTRY DATABASE;
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(2)
APPLICANT.
OBTAIN AND REVIEW A DRIVING RECORD CHECK FOR EACH
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(C)
A
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY MAY NOT APPROVE AN
APPLICATION SUBMITTED UNDER SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION FOR AN
APPLICANT WHO:
(1)
AS SHOWN IN THE CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORDS CHECK
REQUIRED UNDER SUBSECTION (B)(I) OF THIS SECTION, WITHIN THE PAST
7
YEARS
HAS BEEN CONVICTED OF:
(I)
LAW ARTICLE;
(II) SEXUAL ABUSE UNDER TITLE 3, SUBTITLE 3 OF THE
CRIMINAL LAW ARTICLE;
(III)
LAW ARTICLE; OR
ROBBERY UNDER TITLE 4, SUBTITLE 3 OF THE CRIMINAL
A CRIME OF VIOLENCE UNDER
§
14-101 OF THE CRIMINAL
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(IV) FRAUD THAT IS PUNISHABLE AS A FELONY UNDER TITLE
8
OF THE CRIMINAL
LAw
ARTICLE;
(2)
AS SHOWN IN THE DRIVING RECORD CHECK REQUIRED UNDER
SUBSECTION (B)(2) OF THIS SECTION, WITHIN THE PAST
7
YEARS HAS BEEN
CONVICTED OF:
(I)
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS OR ALCOHOL
UNDER
§
21-902 OF THE TRANSPORTATION ARTICLE;
(II) FAILURE TO REMAIN AT THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT UNDER
TITLE 20 OF THE TRANSPORTATION ARTICLE; OR
(III) FLEEING OR ELUDING THE POLICE UNDER
§
21-904 OF THE
TRANSPORTATION ARTICLE; OR
(3)
AS SHOWN IN THE DRIVING RECORD CHECK REQUIRED UNDER
SUBSECTION (B)(2) OF THIS SECTION, WITHIN THE PAST 3 YEARS HAS BEEN
CONVICTED OF:
(I)
DRIVING WITH A SUSPENDED OR REVOKED LICENSE UNDER
§
16-303 OF THE TRANSPORTATION ARTICLE; OR
(II) RECKLESS
TRANSPORTATION ARTICLE.
DRIVING
UNDER
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§
21-901.1
OF
THE
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10.5-104.
A
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR SHALL:
(1)
POSSESS:
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(I)
A VALID DRIVER'S LICENSE;
(II)
PROOF OF REGISTRATION FOR THE MOTOR VEHICLE THAT
IS USED FOR TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES; AND
(III) PROOF OF INSURANCE FOR THE MOTOR VEHICLE THAT IS
USED FOR TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES; AND
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(2)
BE AT LEAST
21
YEARS OLD.
10.5-105.
(A)
A
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY SHALL:
(1)
REGISTER WITH THE COMMISSION;
CREATE AN APPLICATION PROCESS FOR INDIVIDUALS TO APPLY
FOR REGISTRATION ASA TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR UNDER
§ 10.5-103
OF THIS TITLE;
MAINTAIN A CURRENT REGISTRY OF THE TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK COMPANY'S TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATORS;
(4)
SUBMIT PROOF TO THE COMMISSION THAT THE COMPANY:
(I)
IS REGISTERED TO DO BUSINESS IN THE STATE; AND
(2)
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(3)
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(II) MAINTAINS A WEB
SITE
THAT PROVIDES THE
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY'S CUSTOMER SERVICE TELEPHONE NUMBER
OR ELECTRONIC MAIL ADDRESS;
IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION,
CONDUCT, OR HAVE A THIRD PARTY CONDUCT, A SAFETY INSPECTION OF THE
MOTOR VEHICLE THAT A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR WILL USE BEFORE
THE MOTOR VEHICLE MAY BE USED TO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK
SERVI CES;
(5)
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(6)
PROVIDE
THE
FOLLOWING
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY'S WEB SITE:
INFORMATION
ON
THE
(I)
THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY'S CUSTOMER
SERVICE TELEPHONE NUMBER OR ELECTRONIC MAIL ADDRESS;
(II) THE
TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK
COMPANY'S
ZERO-TOLERANCE POLICY ESTABLISHED UNDER
§
10.5-107 OF THIS TITLE;
(III) THE PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING A COMPLAINT ABOUT AN
INDIVIDUAL WHO A PASSENGER REASONABLY SUSPECTS VIOLATED THE
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY'S ZERO-TOLERANCE POLICY; AND
(IV) A COMPLAINT TELEPHONE NUMBER AND ELECTRONIC MAIL
ADDRESS FOR THE COMMISSION; AND
(7)
MAINTAIN RECORDS FOR:
(I)
TITLE;
(II) INFORMATION COLLECTED THROUGH A CRIMINAL HISTORY
RECORDS CHECK AND A REVIEW OF EACH APPLICANT'S DRIVING HISTORY UNDER
§
10.5-103(C) OF THIS TITLE;
(III) THE INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR EACH TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK OPERATOR UNDER
§
10.5-104 OF THIS TITLE;
(IV)
SUBSECTION;
(V)
THIS SUBSECTION;
THE SAFETY INSPECTION REQUIRED UNDER ITEM (5) OF
THE REGISTRY REQUIRED UNDER ITEM (3) OF THIS
EACH APPLICATION SUBMITTED UNDER
§
10.5-103 OF THIS
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(VI) FOR AT LEAST 1 YEAR, EACH TRANSPORTATION NETWORK
SERVICE ARRANGED BY THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY, INCLUDING
COPIES OF RECEIPTS THAT ARE TRANSMITTED TO A PASSENGER UNDER
§
10.5-106(B) OF THIS TITLE;
(VII) FOR AT LEAST 1 YEAR, EACH COMPLAINT FILED FOR AN
ALLEGED VIOLATION OF THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY'S
ZERO-TOLERANCE POLICY UNDER
§
10.5-107(B)(2) OF THIS TITLE;
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(VIII) FOR AT LEAST 1 YEAR, EACH INVESTIGATION BEGUN UNDER
§
10.5-107(B)(3) OF THIS TITLE;
(IX) THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY'S INSURANCE
POLICY REQUIRED UNDER
§
10.5-108(A) OF THIS TITLE; AND
FOR AT LEAST 1 YEAR, EACH ACCIDENT THAT INVOLVES A
(X)
MOTOR VEHICLE THAT IS USED FOR TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES
PROVIDED BY THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY.
(B)
THE SAFETY INSPECTION REQUIRED UNDER SUBSECTION (A)(5) OF THIS
SECTION SHALL BE CONSISTENT WITH THE STANDARDS APPROVED BY THE
DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICE FOR VEHICLES THAT MUST BE INSPECTED IN
ACCORDANCE WITH REGULATIONS ADOPTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF
TRANSPORTATION OR A COMPARABLE INSPECTION REQUIRED BY THE
JURISDICTION IN WHICH THE VEHICLE IS REGISTERED.
10.5-106.
(A)
(1)
A
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY OR A TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK OPERATOR MAY:
17
18
19
20
(I)
OFFER TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES AT NO COST;
(II) SUGGEST A DONATION FOR TRANSPORTATION NETWORK
SERVICES PROVIDED; OR
(III) SUBJECT TO PARAGRAPH (2) OF THIS SUBSECTION, CHARGE
A FARE FOR TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES PROVIDED.
IF A FARE IS CHARGED UNDER PARAGRAPH (1)(111) OF THIS
SUBSECTION, A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY OR A TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK OPERATOR SHALL DISCLOSE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION TO A
PASSENGER BEFORE THE PASSENGER ARRANGES A TRIP WITH A TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK COMPANY OR A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR:
21
22
23
24
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26
(2)
27
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29
30
(I)
(II)
THE METHOD FOR CALCULATING THE FARE;
THE APPLICABLE RATE BEING CHARGED; AND
(III) AN ESTIMATED FARE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK
SERVICES THAT WILL BE PROVIDED.
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5
(B)
THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY, ON COMPLETION OF
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES PROVIDED BY A TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK OPERATOR, SHALL TRANSMIT AN ELECTRONIC RECEIPT TO THE
PASSENGER'S
ELECTRONIC
MAIL
ADDRESS
OR MOBILE
APPLICATION
DOCUMENTING:
6
(1)
(2)
(3)
THE ORIGIN AND DESTINATION OF THE TRIP;
THE TOTAL TIME AND DISTANCE OF THE TRIP; AND
A BREAKDOWN OF THE TOTAL FARE PAID, IF ANY.
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10.5-107.
(A)
(1)
IN THIS SECTION, "DISCRIMINATORY CONDUCT" INCLUDES:
(I)
REFUSING SERVICE ON THE BASIS OF A PASSENGER'S RACE,
SEX, CREED, COLOR, NATIONAL ORIGIN, MARITAL STATUS, SEXUAL ORIENTATION,
AGE, GENDER IDENTITY, OR DISABILITY, INCLUDING REFUSAL OF SERVICE TO A
PASSENGER WITH A SERVICE ANIMAL UNLESS THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK
OPERATOR HAS A DOCUMENTED SERIOUS MEDICAL ALLERGY TO ANIMALS ON FILE
WITH THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY;
(II) USING DEROGATORY OR HARASSING LANGUAGE ON THE
BASIS OF A PERSON'S RACE, SEX, CREED, COLOR, NATIONAL ORIGIN, MARITAL
STATUS, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, AGE, GENDER IDENTITY, OR DISABILITY;
(III) REFUSING SERVICE BASED ON THE PICK-UP OR DROP-OFF
LOCATION OF THE PASSENGER; OR
(IV) RATING A PASSENGER ON THE BASIS OF THE PASSENGER'S
RACE, SEX, CREED, COLOR, NATIONAL ORIGIN, MARITAL STATUS, SEXUAL
ORIENTATION, AGE, GENDER IDENTITY, OR DISABILITY.
"DISCRIMINATORY CONDUCT" DOES NOT INCLUDE REFUSING
SERVICE TO AN INDIVIDUAL WITH A DISABILITY DUE TO VIOLENT, SERIOUSLY
DISRUPTIVE, OR ILLEGAL CONDUCT BY THE INDIVIDUAL.
(B)
(2)
A
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY SHALL:
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(1)
IMPLEMENT A ZERO-TOLERANCE POLICY ON THE USE OF DRUGS
OR ALCOHOL WHILE AN INDIVIDUAL IS ARRANGING· OR PROVIDING
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES;
IMMEDIATELY SUSPEND AN INDIVIDUAL WHO IS ARRANGING OR
PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES ON RECEIPT OF A PASSENGER
COMPLAINT CONTAINING A REASONABLE ALLEGATION THAT THE INDIVIDUAL
VIOLATED THE ZERO-TOLERANCE POLICY; AND
CONDUCT AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE ALLEGED VIOLATION OF
THE ZERO-TOLERANCE POLICY.
(C)
A
SUSPENSION ISSUED UNDER SUBSECTION (B) OF THIS SECTION SHALL
LAST FOR THE DURATION OF THE INVESTIGATION.
(D)
(1)
4
5
6
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(2)
8
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11
12
(3)
A
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY SHALL:
(I)
ADOPT A POLICY PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATORY CONDUCT;
13
14
AND
15
16
(II)
NOTIFY
OPERATORS OF THE POLICY.
PEER-To-PEER
TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK
17
18
19
20
21
(2) .
A
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR SHALL COMPLY:
(I)
SUBSECTION; AND
WITH THE POLICY ADOPTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS
(II)
CONDUCT.
WITH ALL APPLICABLE LAWS REGARDING DISCRIMINATORY
22
10.5-108.
(A)
FOR ACCIDENTS INVOLVING A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR
DURING THE PERIOD OF TIME IN WHICH A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR
IS PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES, THE FOLLOWING IS
REQUIRED:
(1)
PRIMARY AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY INSURANCE THAT COVERS THE
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR'S PROVISION OF SERVICES IN THE AMOUNT
OF
$1,000,000
PER INCIDENT FOR BODILY INJURY AND PROPERTY DAMAGE; AND
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SENATE BILL 868
UNINSURED MOTORIST INSURANCE COVERAGE REQUIRED UNDER
§
19-509 OF THE INSURANCE ARTICLE.
(B)
(1)
FOR ACCIDENTS INVOLVING A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK
OPERATOR DURING THE PERIOD OF TIME IN WHICH A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK
OPERATOR IS LOGGED INTO THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY'S DIGITAL
NETWORK
AND
AVAILABLE TO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES BUT
IS NOT PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES, THE FOLLOWING IS
REQUIRED:
(2)
3
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5
6
7
8
9
(I)
AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY INSURANCE FOR BODILY INJURY
10·
AND PROPERTY DAMAGE THAT MEETS OR EXCEEDS THE MINIMUM COVERAGE
11
REQUIREMENTS UNDER
§
17-103(B) OF THE TRANSPORTATION ARTICLE;
AND
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13
14
AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY INSURANCE THAT MEETS OR
EXCEEDS THE MINIMUM COVERAGE REQUIREMENTS UNDER
§
19-509 OF THE
INSURANCE ARTICLE.
(II)
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19
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21
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(2)
A
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY SHALL MAINTAIN
AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY INSURANCE IN THE AMOUNTS REQUIRED UNDER
PARAGRAPH (1) OF THIS SUBSECTION TO PROVIDE COVERAGE IN THE EVENT A
PARTICIPATING TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR'S OWN AUTOMOBILE
LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICY EXCLUDES COVERAGE ACCORDING TO ITS POLICY
TERMS OR DOES NOT PROVIDE THE MINIMAL COVERAGE REQUIRED UNDER
PARAGRAPH (1) OF THIS SUBSECTION.
(C)
THE INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS LISTED IN SUBSECTIONS (A) AND (B)
OF THIS SECTION MAY BE SATISFIED BY AN AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY POLICY
MAINTAINED
BY:
(1)
(2)
(3)
(D)
THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR;
THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY; OR
BOTH.
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INSURANCE REQUIRED UNDER THIS SECTION MAY BE ISSUED BY:
(1)
AN INSURER AUTHORIZED TO DO BUSINESS IN THE STATE; OR
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(2)
A SURPLUS LINES INSURER UNDER TITLE 3, SUBTITLE 3 OF THE
INSURANCE ARTICLE.
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(E)
INSURANCE REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION SHALL BE DEEMED TO SATISFY
THE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REQUIREMENT FOR A MOTOR VEHICLE UNDER
§
19-509
OF THE INSURANCE ARTICLE
AND
TITLE
17,
SUBTITLE
1
OF THE
TRANSPORTATION ARTICLE.
(F)
(1)
FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS TITLE, INSURERS THAT WRITE
AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY INSURANCE IN THE STATE MAY EXCLUDE
ANY
AND ALL
COVERAGE
AND
THE DUTY TO DEFEND AFFORDED UNDER THE OWNER'S INSURANCE
POLICY FOR
ANY
LOSS OR INJURY THAT OCCURS WHILE AN INSURED VEHICLE
PROVIDES OR IS AVAILABLE TO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES IF
THE EXCLUSION IS EXPRESSLY SET FORTH IN THE POLICY
AND
APPROVED FOR SALE
IN
MARYLAND.
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(2)
THE RIGHT TO EXCLUDE COVERAGE
AND
THE DUTY TO
INDEMNIFY AND DEFEND SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH
(1)
OF THIS SUBSECTION MAY
APPLY TO
ANY
COVERAGE INCLUDED IN AN AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY INSURANCE
POLICY, INCLUDING:
(I)
DAMAGE;
(II)
(III)
(IV)
(V)
(VI)
UNINSURED AND UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE;
MEDICAL PAYMENTS COVERAGE;
PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION COVERAGE;
COMPREHENSIVE PHYSICAL DAMAGE COVERAGE;
AND
COLLISION PHYSICAL DAMAGE COVERAGE.
LIABILITY COVERAGE FOR BODILY INJURY AND PROPERTY
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(3)
As
REQUIRED UNDER
§
27-304(18)
OF THE INSURANCE ARTICLE,
AN INSURER SHALL NOTIFY THE INSURED PARTY THAT THE INSURER HAS NO DUTY
TO DEFEND OR INDEMNIFY
ANY
PERSON OR ORGANIZATION FOR LIABILITY FOR A
LOSS THAT IS PROPERLY EXCLUDED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE
APPLICABLE PRIMARY OR EXCESS INSURANCE POLICY.
(G)
(1)
AN
INSURER THAT WRITES AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY INSURANCE IN
THE STATE SHALL DISCLOSE IN A PROMINENT PLACE ON ITS APPLICATION FOR
INSURANCE WHETHER THE INSURANCE POLICY PROVIDES COVERAGE WHILE AN
INSURED VEHICLE PROVIDES OR IS AVAILABLE TO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK SERVICES.
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IF AN AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICY CONTAINS AN
EXCLUSION FOR TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES, THE INSURER OR ITS
AGENT SHALL DISCLOSE IN WRITING THE EXACT LANGUAGE OF THE EXCLUSION TO
THE APPLICANT DURING THE APPLICATION PROCESS.
(H)
(1)
IF AN ACCIDENT OCCURS THAT INVOLVES A MOTOR VEHICLE THAT
IS BEING USED FOR TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES, THE TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK OPERATOR SHALL PROVIDE PROOF OF:
(I)
INSURANCE; AND
(II)
OF THIS SECTION.
LIABILITY COVERAGE REQUIRED UNDER SUBSECTION (A)
THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR'S PERSONAL
(2)
(2)
A
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR WHO IS INVOLVED IN
16
AN ACCIDENT WHILE PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES SHALL
COOPERATE TO FACILITATE THE EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION, INCLUDING A
DESCRIPTION OF THE COVERAGE, EXCLUSIONS, AND LIMITS PROVIDED UNDER AN
INSURANCE POLICY EACH PARTY HAS BEEN ISSUED OR MAINTAINED.
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10.5-109.
(A)
A
MOTOR VEHICLE USED TO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK
SERVICES SHALL:
HAVE A MANUFACTURER'S RATED SEATING CAPACITY OF EIGHT
OR FEWER PERSONS, INCLUDING THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR;
HAVE AT LEAST FOUR DOORS AND MEET APPLICABLE FEDERAL
MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS FOR VEHICLES OF ITS SIZE, TYPE, AND
PROPOSED USE; AND
BE NO MORE THAN
10
MODEL YEARS OF AGE AT ENTRY INTO
SERVICE AND NO MORE THAN
12
MODEL YEARS OF AGE WHILE BEING USED TO
PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK SERVICES.
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(1)
(2)
(3)
(B)
(1)
A
MOTOR VEHICLE THAT IS USED TO PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK SERVICES SHALL DISPLAY A CONSISTENT AND DISTINCTIVE TRADE DRESS
CONSISTING OF A LOGO, AN INSIGNIA, OR AN EMBLEM AT ALL TIMES THAT THE
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR IS PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK SERVICES.
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1
2
BE:
(2)
THE TRADE DRESS REQUIRED UNDER THIS SUBSECTION SHALL
3
4
5
6
SUFFICIENTLY LARGE AND COLOR CONTRASTED SO AS TO
BE READABLE DURING DAYLIGHT HOURS AT A DISTANCE OF AT LEAST
50
FEET;
AND
(1)
(II)
VISIBLE IN DARKNESS.
REFLECTIVE,
ILLUMINATED,
OR
OTHERWISE
PLAINLY
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10.5-110.
(A)
ON OR BEFORE JANUARY
1, 2016,
EACH TRANSPORTATION NETWORK
COMPANY SHALL:
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11
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18
(1)
ENSURE THAT THE COMPANY'S WEB SITE IS ACCESSIBLE TO THE
BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED
AND
THE DEAF AND HARD-OF-HEARING;
AND
PROVIDE A REPORT TO THE COMMISSION ON HOW THE COMPANY
INTENDS TO INCREASE ACCESS TO WHEELCHAIR-ACCESSIBLE TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK SERVICES TO INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES.
(B)
(2)
A
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY MAY NOT:
(1)
IMPOSE ADDITIONAL OR SPECIAL CHARGES ON AN INDIVIDUAL
WITH A DISABILITY FOR PROVIDING SERVICES TO ACCOMMODATE THE INDIVIDUAL;
OR
REQUIRE THAT
ACCOMPANIED BY AN ATTENDANT.
19
20
(2)
AN
INDIVIDUAL
WITH
A
DISABILITY
BE
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(C)
IF A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR ACCEPTS A RIDE REQUEST
THROUGH A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY FROM A PASSENGER WITH A
DISABILITY WHO USES A MOBILITY DEVICE:
(1)
IF THE VEHICLE IS CAPABLE OF STOWING THE MOBILITY DEVICE,
THE OPERATOR SHALL STOW THE MOBILITY DEVICE IN THE VEHICLE; AND
IF THE PASSENGER OR OPERATOR DETERMINES THAT THE
VEHICLE IS NOT CAPABLE OF STOWING THE DEVICE, THE TRANSPORTATION
NETWORK COMPANY:
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(2)
29
(1)
MAY NOT CHARGE A TRIP CANCELLATION FEE; OR
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(II) IF A FEE IS CHARGED, SHALL PROVIDE THE PASSENGER
WITH A REFUND IN A TIMELY MANNER.
(D)
A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATOR SHALL:
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5
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7
(1)
TREAT AN INDIVIDUAL WITH DISABILITIES IN A RESPECTFUL AND
COURTEOUS MANNER; AND
PROPERLY AND
ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT.
(2)
SAFELY HANDLE
MOBILITY DEVICES AND
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10.5-111.
(A)
IF THE COMMISSION HAS A REASONABLE BASIS TO SUSPECT THAT A
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY IS NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THIS TITLE,
THE COMMISSION MAY INSPECT THE RECORDS OF A TRANSPORTATION NETWORK
COMPANY AT THE COMPANY'S PLACE OF BUSINESS OR AN AGREED-ON THIRD-PARTY
LOCATION TO THE EXTENT NECESSARY TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY IS IN COMPLIANCE.
(B)
(1)
RECORDS
DISCLOSED
TO
THE
COMMISSION
BY
A
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY, INCLUDING NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF
TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATORS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO DISCLOSURE
UNDER THE MARYLAND PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT.
(I)
THE COMMISSION OR ANY OTHER PUBLIC ENTITY MAY NOT
DISCLOSE RECORDS OR INFORMATION DISCLOSED TO THE COMMISSION UNDER
PARAGRAPH
(1)
OF THIS SUBSECTION TO ANY PERSON UNLESS THE DISCLOSURE IS
REQUIRED BY A SUBPOENA OR COURT ORDER.
(2)
(II) IF A SUBPOENA OR COURT ORDER REQUIRES THE
COMMISSION OR OTHER PUBLIC ENTITY TO DISCLOSE INFORMATION DISCLOSED TO
THE COMMISSION UNDER PARAGRAPH (1) OF THIS SUBSECTION, THE COMMISSION
OR PUBLIC ENTITY SHALL PROMPTLY NOTIFY THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK
COMPANY BEFORE DISCLOSING THE INFORMATION.
10.5-112.
(A)
NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER LAW, TRANSPORTATION NETWORK
COMPANIES AND TRANSPORTATION NETWORK OPERATORS ARE GOVERNED
EXCLUSIVELY BY THIS TITLE AND ANY REGULATIONS ADOPTED BY THE COMMISSION
IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS TITLE.
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(B)
A
COUNTY OR MUNICIPAL CORPORATION
MAY
NOT:
(1)
2
3
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5
IMPOSE A TAX ON OR REQUIRE A TRANSPORTATION NE'lWORK
COMPANY OR TRANSPORTATION NE'lWORKOPERATOR TO OBTAIN A LICENSE IF THE
TAX OR LICENSE RELATES TO PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION NE'lWORK SERVICES;
OR
SUBJECT A TRANSPORTATION NE'lWORK COMPANY TO A LOCAL
PERMITTING PROCESS, RATE LIMITATION, OR ANY OTHER LOCAL REQUIREMENT.
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7
(2)
8
9
SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this Act shall take effect
July
1,2015.
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COALITION FOR A COMPETITIVE TAXICAB INDUSTRY, INC.
February 26, 2015
Mr. Roger Berliner
Council Member
Montgomery County Council
100 Maryland Ave.
6
th
Floor
Rockville, MD 20850
Dear Mr. Berliner:
On behalf of all of the members of CCII, I want to thank you for sending us a copy of
your letter dated February 19, 2015 addressed to Al Roshdieh, the Acting Director of the
Department of Transportation. I also appreciate the opportunity to respond to the issues raised in
that letter.
Our members are pleased that you are showing such concern for the welfare and incomes
of our County's taxi drivers. We also share that concern. We believe, however, that the
inflammatory verbal attacks on the taxi fleets are unwarranted and patently untrue. Taxi drivers'
incomes. have not decreased in the past two years due to lease rates or credit card fees, but
.instead due to the influx of an unlimited number of illegal for-hire transportation providers.
Chapte~:53 t~
ensure that all providers- taxi drivers and
TNe
operators- have the same operating
requirements, have limits on the total number of licensed providers and that the County will
aggressively enforce the law against those who operate illegally. Drivers could also benefit if the
fares they could charge were raised given that there has been no fare increase in over six years.
In specific response
to
the issues raised in your letter, we offer the following:
, We ·be,lieve that
if
the· Council is truly concerned about driver- incomes it would revise
Vehicle Lease Caps. At the outset of this discussion, it must be noted that the
Committee
has
been obviously concerned with placing as few restraints as possible on mcs.
As the Committee has embraced the "free market" principles advanced by Uber and Lyft, it has
also assured all parties that the old model of taxi regulation, essentially treating taxis as a highly
regulated utility, was a thing of the past. Your new suggestion to institute lease caps belies these
assurances and suggests that it is the Committee's intention to create an even more imbalanced
"playing field
u
which will guarantee the failure of traditional
taxi
operators.
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Page
12
February 26, 2015
Your letter to
Mr.
Roshdieh offers the opinion that taxi drivers are ''the most
disempowered workers" in our county. We respectfully disagree.
In
fact, there are more
opportunities for drivers now than at any time in memory. The competition for taxi drivers has
never been more fierce given the explosion in for-hire transportation in recent years.
There are five fleets
in
the County and taxi companies allover the Washington metropolitan
area, all of whom compete for drivers. Add to that mix, the huge number of private sedans,
contract transportation companies such as Metro Access, shuttle vans and priVate contractors,
drivers now have a "buyer's market." And now, with the lure of companies such as Uber and
Lyft, drivers have yet another option and the taxi fleets are seeing the lowest vehicle utilization
rates in their history.
Even so,
to
have a fair discussion of lease caps, one must first conduct an accurate study
of the economics: driver income and expenses
and
owner income and expenses. Relying on a
few drivers' anecdotal statements is hardly fair. By way of example, to counter the impression
that the County taxi drivers are earning less than the minimum wage, Barwood has provided
data
showing that a number its drivers earned over $100,000.00 in gross income in 2014. At the
least, before even entertaining a cap on leases, the County should require real data regarding
driver income and expenses and fleet costs.
In 2013, the Maryland Public Service Commission proposed lease caps on the taxi
industry under its jurisdiction. Yet after taking testimony, conducting an inquiry into the
complicated economics of a taxi operation, and assessing the ever increasing number of options
for drivers, it concluded that its proposal was unnecessary and punitive to the taxi industry. We
urge. you to look to that process for further information on this
issue~
Each of the fleets has previously provided the Council with their current lease rates.
Over the last ten years, the lease rates of our members have increased between a minimum of
0% (Regency Cab) and a maximum 7% (Barwood). Over that same period of time, the cost of
vehicles has risen by 18%, the cost of liability insurance
has
risen by 12%; the cost of vehicle
repairs has risen by 23
%
and the costs of employee wages and benefits have increased by an
astounding 61%. In order to absorb these costs, a taxi fleet (or a smaller owner/operator) has a
very limited means to increase revenues. Unlike most other businesses, we cannot raise fares to
customers or expand our market share by adding more vehicles to our fleets.
Your letter also appears to endorse the caps put into place by Seattle and New York City.
In
comparing markets it is always important to
be
sure that the markets are analogous.
In
both
Seattle and New York City the caps were placed on
shift
rentals. This means that an owner in
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Page 13
February 26, 2015
New York or Seattle may lease a cab to a driver for a ten or twelve hour shift and then lease the
same cab to another driver for a second shift. Some companies even have three shifts a day.
No fleet in Montgomery County leases by shift. Rather, all Montgomery County cabs are
leased
to
drivers for twenty four hours a day, seven days a week:. This means the driverllessee
can use the vehicle not only for transporting passengers but also for personal use. For many of
our drivers, the cab is their only vehicle, eliminating the need to buy and maintain a personal use
vehicle. As such, the New York and Seattle lease caps are not remotely analogous to what
occurs in Montgomery County. In those cities the 24 hour lease rates, while capped, are almost
double what any fleet is charging here.
CCTI and each of its members are vehemently opposed to a cap on their only means of
income. Just as important, however, is that your letter suggests that taxi drivers need relief from
"onerous" lease fees. Yet your letter offers no such concern for those who drive for a TNC. Is
the Committee ·prepared to limit the amount of revenue a TNC company can make from its
drivers?
ls
the Committee prepared to stop the TNCs from lowering their rates to drive out
competition on the backs oftheir own drivers? lfnot, on what basis does the Committee feel it is
proper to restrict the earning ability of the existing
taxi
fleets?
Credit Card Terminals
and
Fees.
Your letter raises two issues with respect to credit
cards. The first is concerned with the in-cab terminals. All Montgomery County cabs now have
credit card terminals. Each of the five taxi fleets have contracts with third party providers.
Under each of these contracts the provider supplies the in-vehicle hardware, the software and
also processes credit card transactions. The provider also collects a fee on each transaction on
top of tpe fees charged by the banks. The fleets receive no financial benefit from these
transactions. The cost to the
fleets
for
this service,
including bank fees, ranges from
3.5%
to
5%
of each transaction.
Each of these contracts requires the fleet to insure that the contractor's system is used
exclusively. The reason for that exclusivity is that the provider needs to cover the cost of the
production of the technology, the production and maintenance of the equipment, and also make a
profit. The exclusivity also provides an important secondary benefit in that passengers, who
encounter a problem in service with a driver, can contact the fleet for resolution. A fleet is
unable to resolve the issue for the passenger when it has no relationship to the credit card
terminal provider.
The second issue concerns credit card fees. The member fleets all charge different fees
for credit card use and the fees are for different services provided by the fleets. The fees retained
by the fleets range from 0% (Sun Taxi) to
3%
(Barwood) over and above the fees described
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Page 14
February 26, 2015
above. Much like governments that raise fees rather than taxes, fleets charge drivers fees in
order to hold down vehicle rental fees. Fees, admittedly, are a way
to
raise revenue and different
fleets have different fee structures. The credit card fees are designed to limit the cost to drivers
as many drivers take in revenue with little or no use of credit cards. Barwood's fees are used
to
offset the huge technology investments that have benefitted not only the company, but also
drivers and passengers. Barwood, however, does not charge fees on any other trips. Other
member companies charge lower credit card fees but assess fees on Call-n-Ride fares, Medicaid
trips and Metro Access trips to cover their cost.
CCTI opposes a cap on fees as it needlessly limits a company's ability to use different
tools to raise revenue. A limitation on fees will not lower costs for the drivers but rather, will
simply result in increases in rent and affiliation fees.
Your letter claims that "some companies require drivers" to be
affiliated with a fleet for five years. Of the five fleets that make up the membership of CCTI,
only one company, Barwood, has long term affiliation contracts. In Barwood's case, however,
most of the long term contracts are the result of sales of PVLs arising out of its bankruptcy
proceedings. In those cases Barwood discounted its sales price by
$10,000
as an incentive for
drivers to remain affiliated with Barwood's fleets. Many drivers preferred the incentive,
although a few paid the higher price and then affiliated with other companies. Many of the
purchasers of PVLs also financed their purchases either through a third party lender, Enterprise
Development Group, Inc., or through Barwood's holding company, Transco (or both). In those
cases the lenders required the drivers to remain affiliated with Barwood' s fleet so long as the
debt was outstanding. Some
p~chasers
signed five year notes, many had shorter periods.
CCTI is opposed to arbitrary limits on contract terms. Although long term contracts are
not commonly used today, they can be a tool that benefits both fleet owners and drivers.
Companies should be allowed to experiment with contract terms to offer incentives and
protections for drivers in exchange for a longer term. Incentives like discounted rents, price
controls, or longevity rewards all could
be
a reasonable basis for a driver to sign a long term
lease. Of course,
if
a driver does not wish
to
enter into a long term contract, he/she is free to
enter a shorter one or seek a relationship with another company as discussed above. There can
be no "contracts of adhesion" if drivers have the existing range of options to work elsewhere.
Contract Terms.
CCTI is also opposed to uniform lease language. Each fleet is different and should have
the ability to enter into its own contract with a driver. A uniform lease is simply another step
toward treating all taxis as a county managed utility and a step away from the kind of innovation
and market driven ideas that the Council has so ardently embraced with the TNCs.
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Page
15
February 26, 2015
Since 2005 our code has provided the drivers with a dispute
resolution mechanism. It is found in Sec. 53-219
(t).
Until the Department of Transportation
arranged for the 2014 mediation process between all five fleets and a number of drivers claiming
to be part of a union, the mechanism had
never
been used. CCT! members continue
to
support
the existing language and are· willing to entertain reasonable changes to the language if such
changes would
be
beneficial. Any analysis of this issue would need to begin with a discussion of
the types ofactual driver issues that are currently not being addressed.
PVL
Issuance.
CCT! adopts and incorporates its earlier submission on PVL issues. We
agree that there should be an issuance of PVLs available to both fleets that wish to grow and to
individual drivers who wish to invest in their own business. However, the issuance of PVLs
will not help anyone if they
are
not transferable and if they do not have value. If there is no
limitation on the number of providers. including TNC Operators, the PVLs will be worthless and
neither fleets nor drivers will have the collateral or incentive to invest in their businesses.
Service
to
the Disabled
Community. CCT! continues to advocate that
all
licensees
Dispute
Resolution.
provide service to the disabled community. Understanding that the business model for TNCs
makes it difficult to accommodate wheel-chair accessible vehicles, TNCs should
be
permitted to
opt out of actually providing service by being surcharged on each ride provided in the County.
The funds derived from the surcharge should be used to cover the costs of those who actually
provide the service.
. The cost to operate a wheel;.chair accessible vehicle is substantial and under current law
places a heavy economic burden on those who provide the services. By the very nature of the
clientele, the time
it
.takes to pick up and drop off a disabled passenger is much longer than that
for the non-djsabled. This means fewer jobs per
day
for a driver of such a vehicle.
The
law
also
prohibits any difference in fares which means a driver is likely to make less money operating a
wheel-chair accessible vehicle. The vehicles themselves are far more expensive to purchase and
outfit than a standard taxi sedan. The surcharge can be used to remedy these disparities, and in
so doing, it will incentivize taxi fleets and drivers to put more of these vehicles on the road.
On behalf of CCTI and its individual members. we thank you for your time and attention
to these matters and we look forward to further discussion on these and other issues affecting the
local
taxi
industry.
Very truly yours.
David Mohebbi, President
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CCTI POSITION PAPER FOR COUNTY COUNCIL WORK SESSION #4
CCTI offers the following comments and arguments to address the agenda items
scheduled for the fourth work session scheduled for March 10, 2015.
Introduction
Most of the agenda items arise from the most recent amendments offered by
Mr.
Reimer.
These amendments, along with certain issues raised by the Committee, have changed the entire
nature of the process which was begun over six months ago. This legislative process began as an
effort to legally introduce new transportation businesses known as Transportation Network
Companies while freeing the existing taxi fleets from regulations that were described by the
Chair as "archaic." In response to this effort CCTI produced a proposed unified overhaul of
Chapter 53 which incorporated nearly all ofthe original three introduced bills along with
additional recommendations that would benefit taxi drivers and allow the existing fleets to
innovate and compete with these new competitors. CCTI continues to stand by its proposed
revisions as a fair and comprehensive solution that serves all stakeholders fairly.
In recent weeks, however, the conversation has veered wildly away from the original
goals and has now become driven by wild accusations, half-truths and unsubstantiated claims at
the hands of a group of drivers egged on by organized labor. As a result, the existing fleets are
now faced not with
less
regulation, but with
more.
The Committee has already indicated
approval ofproposals that will bring the County ever more deeply into the business and financial
relations between fleets and drivers. If enacted, the proposals on the agenda for this work
session would take the County ever closer to absolute control of every aspect ofthe taxi
business, while simultaneously giving the TNCs the opportunity to legally operate in the County
with almost complete impunity. The Committee needs to return its focus to the fundamental
issues that initiated this process.
Centralized Dispatch System.
CCTI continues to support the original proposal
contained within Bi1155-14. A non-exclusive centralized electronic dispatch system ("County
App") would benefit all County taxi drivers and the public. Even so, establishing the County
App is not as simple as fmding the right technology. As with any system, the humans that use
the system will find its weaknesses and exploit them.
It
is human nature. As such, establishing
and enforcing reasonable rules on the system's use will be the challenge for the County. The
Director, prior to establishing the criteria for any system, should consult with the local fleets and
other entities that have established dispatch systems to familiarize themselves with the kinds of
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problems and abuses that routinely occur. The Council should also understand that any third
party vendor that will provide an application will want the relationship to be profitable which
will mean that the vendor will charge a fee for each trip that will be expected to either come out
of the driver's share or paid by the County.
Other jurisdictions.
Mr. Reimer has recently offered an amendment directing the
Director to give a preference to a vendor that includes "the greatest number ofjurisdictions in the
Washington D.C. region in the system." CCTI is not clear what this provision means. Is it
intended that: 1) the County App would show available vehicles for hire found in other
jurisdictions? 2) the County App coordinate with similar apps in other jurisdictions? CCTI
suggests that no preference should be given to any vendor simply because it was lucky enough to
have been selected by a neighboring jurisdiction; the selection of a vendor should be based
entirely on the quality and cost of the system sold.
Pre-set payments.
Mr. Reimer has also recently offered an amendment to allow the
Director to deduct payments designated for an individual driver for the benefit of a "third party
trade or advocacy organization designated by the driver." CCTI takes no direct position on this
provision except that any authorization for deductions must also include the variety of payments
that are routinely required whether voluntary or not. "Advocacy organizations" should not only
include a trade union but also any charity or other organization that a driver may wish to pay. In
addition the creation of such a procedure would have to include the payment of
tax
liens, child
support, judgment creditors, insurance premiums and the like. Either the Department should
have the obligation to handle all such voluntary and legitimate involuntary claims or it should
not be required to handle any of them.
Commission on Fleet-Driver Relations.
CCTI believes this proposal is an unnecessary
intrusion into the each fleet's legitimate confidential business practices. Moreover,
it
is
inappropriate for either driver representatives or fleet representatives to negotiate contract terms
and rates without knowing the complete financial information for all parties concerned.
In
order
to do that, all representatives would have to be given access to not only fleet business records,
but also complete driver income records. The CCTI members are firmly opposed to sharing its
confidential business information with its competitors or the drivers. CCTI suspects that this
kind of disclosure of individual driver income would also be unpopular.
CCTI also remains opposed to any arbitrary cap on lease rates or any other fee, especially
in light of the fact that the TNCs would not be subject to any such restriction. The market should
decide these issues. However, in light of the Committee's recent "straw vote," CCTI believes
that if any caps are to be entertained they should be decided by the Director after a thoughtful
and reasoned process with input from all fleets and drivers.
Adverse actions against drivers.
Another proposal requires that a "licensee must not
take adverse action against a driver without just cause." This provision, as written, is impossibly
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vague. Even so, the CCTI members firmly believe that lease drivers
are
treated fairly. In this
age of fierce competition for drivers, the fleets generally bend over backwards
to
retain drivers.
There are many instances, however, where fleets will terminate leases to drivers for cause.
These would include accidents, demonstrably poor customer service, and failure to pay rent.
Naturally, there will be drivers who feel that they have not be treated fairly and the current Code
already provides them with a mechanism to take the matter up with a neutral mediator. To date,
CCTI members know of not a single incident of a driver requesting relief under the County
mediation program.
CCTI is firmly opposed to any requirement that a driver or fleet participate in binding
arbitration. Such a requirement cannot be mandated as it violates each party's due process rights
and access
to
the courts and thus is unconstitutional.
Minimum wage requirement. The County's taxi drivers are all independent
contractors. Neither the fleets nor the drivers are seeking to change that fundamental
relationship. A guarantee of minimum wage would require the establishment of an employer­
employee relationship which, it is respectfully submitted, cannot be compelled by legislation.
The only way a fleet could guarantee a minimum wage would be to guarantee a sufficient
number of trips to each driver. That is impossible since the fleets do not have control of the
number of trips, the length or value of those trips or the hours and places a driver may work.
Moreover, any effort to "steer" trips to an underperforming driver would mean taking away trips
from another driver, which is patently unfair.
PVL issues. CCTI adopts and incorporates its earlier position paper, dated February 23,
2015 as it addresses the issues of transferability and the need to maintain a value. CCTI requests
that the earlier paper be made part of the packet.
A. Issuance of new PVLs.. CCTI agrees that a number of new PVLs should be issued
in 2015 or 2016. Mr. Reimer's suggestion of issuing 200 PVLs is excessive. While
the impact of TNCs has not been fully assessed, it is clear that adding 200 new taxis
and an untold number of TNC Operators will significantly affect driver income.
CCTI recommends that a total of 100 PVLs be issued in 20 16and that future decisions
regarding the issuance of new PVLs take into account all of the criteria set forth in
Sec 53-205. CCTI also supports
Mr.
Reimer's proposed allocation of half of the new
PVLs to be issued to fleets and the remaining half to drivers as currently set out in the
Code.
B. Reimbursement fund. The idea of a reimbursement fund as proposed is lacking the
necessary specifics to provide in-depth comment. The CCTI members would love to
see a fund that would fairly compensate any PVL holder for loss of value as a result
of either a formal ''taking'' by legislation or the informal devaluation brought about
by the introduction of the TNCs. That said, it is unclear how the necessary funds
could be accrued or how compensation would be calculated. CCTI believes this
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proposal cannot be fairly implemented. Rather than compensate for devaluation,
efforts should be made to make sure that PVLs maintain value and that the Council
does nothing to intentionally render them valueless. It si also essential to note that the
issues concerning PVL valuation and transfer affect not only the five fleets, but also
the approximately 200 owner/operators who have invested in this County's
transportation system.
C.
PVL
leasing.
ccn
continues to advocate the leasing of PVLs to drivers who wish to
use their own vehicles as a taxi in the County. Many jurisdictions in the country
currently permit this kind ofleasing. Such arrangements allow a fleet to provide
different types of opportunities to drivers, including the use of drivers who wish to
work part-time. Part-time drivers have been hailed by Uber and others as a welcome
innovation which provides needed service at times that were previously under-served.
Elimination of Dispatch and Affiliation Requirements.
ccn
continues to advocate
the elimination of the requirement of discreet dispatch systems. While no member fleet has
currerit plans to abandon its existing dispatch system, the reality is that with the advent of cell
phone apps, the traditional dispatch models have been rendered almost obsolete. Fleets and
drivers should be allowed to experiment with different models and should even be allowed to
share a system if they wish. The County App is an example of such a system, but the fleets
should not be restricted to anyone system. Rather they should be encouraged to innovate and be
given the freedom to do so.
CCTI also continues to advocate on behalf of the fleet system. The elimination of the
requirement to affiliate with a fleet or with an association makes no sense from a regulatory point
of view. The Department, as the entity responsible for regulating taxis, needs to seek the
assistance of an entity, be
it
fleet or association, to aid in its efforts.
If
the Department was
required to contact and schedule nearly 800 individual drivers each time it conducted a meter
inspection, a cosmetic inspection or for license renewals it would be an enormous undertaking.
CCTI believes there is no viable argument to eliminate the affiliation requirement.
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February 26,2015
To: the Montgomery County Council
I came to the United States from the Soviet Union twenty-five years ago. I believe in the freedom
and the free market system that we have here in the United States.
An
engineer in my country of
birth, I worked various jobs in this country but have found that the
taxi
industry suits me best.
Four years ago, I affiliated with Barwood. I own four PVLs: I drive one of my taxis and lease the
other three.
I understand that the county government is considering making changes to the way the
taxi
industry works. I support the government's help with creating rules that everyone would follow,
which would eliminate the unfair advantages that Uber and other companies have, claiming they
are technology companies. Why do I have to charge customers the set county rates, but they can
charge anything they like, low or high? There are so many issues on that subject. I am sure you
know them all, so I will move on to the other types of changes I have heard about and object to.
As an owner and a driver, I do not believe drivers should become employees. The greatest
advantage to being a taxi driver or owner is flexibility. I do not want
to
be told when to work, or
where, and my drivers do not want to be controlled like that, either. Is there any other place in
the U.S. where taxi drivers are employees? This is totally against what
it
means to be a taxi
driver, an independent business person.
As an affiliate, I have a business. I have the right to set the rent, based on my expenses, and
would not want that to be controlled by the government.
In
a free market, ifI can't find drivers at
the rent I want to charge, I have to lower it.
PVL's have value. They would be worthless if they could not be sold. This proposal about
making them non-transferable is unfair to all the people who worked hard to save money to buy
their PVL's. Uber and the other "technology" companies have already reduced their value.
Finally, coming from the Soviet Union, let me say that I do not believe in unions, and the
drivers' union I have heard about lately does not represent me.
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.
Sincerely,
1/~~i~/rTl;L-
!
s(
Michael Pesin
Taxi233@yahoo.com; 301-233-9948
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February 25,2015
To the Montgomery County Council:
My name is Salvador Maldonado. I was born in Peru, where my father had a small
taxi
company. I have always loved the transportation business, so when I came to the United
States more
than
25 years ago, I got jobs in that business. I drove a bus for a private
school in Potomac, Maryland for five years; I had a car service for people with
disabilities; and then a sedan service for trips between Montgomery County and New
York City. When Vamoose and the other bus companies started doing the same thing for
much less, my business was over.
I was glad to be able to get into the taxi business with Barwood. Beginning aboutfour
years ago, I leased a taxi from them,then I bought two PVL's. I drive one taxi and rent
the other. Driving and owning taxis
has
given me the opportunity to build a business to
support my family. I am proud that both of my children are in college.
I have heard that the county is thinking about making changes to the taxi business and
that a driver's union is also suggesting changes that will affect my business. This union
does not represent me.
I would not want a limit on the amount of rent that I can charge someone who drives my
other taxi. I would not want to make that driver my employee. 1'd have to file taxes for
them and get a worker's compensation policy. This could put me out of business.
Most of all, I object to the idea that I might not be able to sell my PVL' s if I want to do
that in the future, when I retire. With the two new cars, they cost me over $100,000.
I would also like for Uber to have to work with the same rules that we have to obey, like
going by the county fare structure. We cannot lower or increase fares ..
V;:(.::;:/d./~!
s/
Salvador Maldonado
Taxigoing@yahoo.com
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To the Montgomery County Council:
Hello. My name is Moses Bwebale and I came to this country 23 years ago from Uganda.
After working in the dry cleaning business for a few years, I heard about Barwood and
began to drive a Barwood taxi. That was 20 years ago. I love driving and meeting new
people, so I saved up and bought a PVL.
Things have been difficult lately with Uber taking business away.
It
is easy for them
because they do not have to do all the things we have to do.
It
is not fair.
Driving and owning a taxi
has
been a good business for me and has let me send one child
to college and another will go in a few years. My business is important to me and my
family.
I hear that a driver's union and the county council want to make changes in Montgomery
County that will affect my business. The union does not represent me and I do not agree
with some changes I have heard about.
In
fact, Peter Ibek, a representative of the
Montgomery County Professional's Drivers Union approached me about attending a
meeting. He asked me to sign my name to be contacted for a meeting. I later found out
that this list was used for a petition by the Driver's Union without my consent. I do not
agree with these issues on the petition.
Although I drive my own taxi, I sometimes go back to Uganda for a month or two at a
time. That means I rent my taxi. And if I fall
ill,
I would rent my taxi.
I would not want to be told how much rent I can charge. I would not like to make that
driver my employee if I have to stop driving and hire someone to drive in my place. Also,
please make sure the value of the PVL remains strong. We drivers who bought PVL's
spent a lot of money on them.
Moses Bwebale
6509 Park Hall Drive
Laurel, MD 20707
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To the Montgomery County Council:
My name is Charles Metis. When I came to the United States from Haiti more than 30
years ago, I worked in the hotel business downtown but did not advance. I leased a
Barwood taxi in 1991. After only four years, I was able to buy my first PVL and have
bought two more since then. I drive one of my taxis myself and affiliate all three with
Barwood. Barwood has provided me with good service and customers.
Driving and owning taxis has given me the opportunity to build a business to support my
family. Two of my four children have graduated from college and the younger two are
currently enrolled in college. I have helped my widowed sister and her two children as
well.
My business is important to me and my family. I understand that a driver's union wants to
make changes in Montgomery County that
will
affect my business. The union does not
represent me. I object to the following proposed, possible changes:
1. A centralized dispatch system run by the County.
2. A limit on the amount of rent that I can charge someone who drives one of my taxis.
The County does not know the extent of my business expenses.
3. Drivers becoming employees. Taxi drivers are independent contractors; their status
gives them incentive to work hard and earn as much money as possible. If I have to
make my drivers my employees, I feel it would be a mistake for them and it would
ruin
me financially. I would have to file quarterly taxes and pay the employers' portion of the
tax,
do W2s, obtain a worker's comp policy, and more. I believe I would go out of
business.
4. Guarantee of minimum wage. This does not make sense for a taxi driver.
5. Prohibiting the transfer ofPVL's. I have three. How could it be fair that I could never
sell them? I worked hard to save the money to purchase them.
Thank
you for your consideration of my views.
Z
~(;~
SillCe
Charles Metis
2805 Red Lion
Silver Spring, MD 20904
MoCo Hearing Feb 27 Letter1
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February
26,2015
To the Montgomery County Council:
I came to the United States from Iran many years ago and have been in the
taxi
business
with Barwood for
25
years.
I
have two PVL's.
I
drive one
taxi
and rent the other one.
This week
I
learned from another driver that there may be some changes to the
taxi
business in Montgomery County.
I
am not a part of the driverfs union that has given its
ideas to County Council members.
I
do not know all the details, but from what
I
heard,
I
want you to know that three things
would hurt me and my business greatly: setting a limit on the rent
I
can charge someone
who drives my other taxi, making the driver my employee, and not being able to sell my
PVL.
One more thing
I
would like you to know: taxi drivers are being hurt by Uber because
they do not have to follow the same rules and regulations.
I
hope you will
fix
this
problem.
~WIP-j;,
/tel-<
Very truly yours,
/5
!
.
Esmail Abedini
14508
Snapdragon Circle
N. Potomac, MD
20878
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February 25, 2015
To the Montgomery County Council T
&
E Committee:
I'm Bruce Block and I have been a Barwood driver for three years and I've lived in Montgomery County
for over 30 years. My undergraduate degree is in mathematics and economics, I am a serial
entrepreneur who has created four companies. I've taken one of them public. I am a former partner at
the firm of Booz Allen
&
Hamilton and have an MBA in Finance from American University. I enjoy
driving a taxi because as a single Dad of a 12 year old I need the flexibility driving a taxicab provides so I
can be there for my son.
I would like to state for the record that the Drivers Union does not represent me.
J
specifically want to
address some of the driver union suggestions.
1. I do not believe drivers should be employees. Success should be based upon your level of
commitment to the position. Additionally, I don't want to be capped at an hourly wage when
know I can make more by being industrious and providing exemplary customer service.
2.
As
for lease terms; I don't believe the government should set a lease rate, this would amount to
price fixing. The daily lease rate for the car should be set by competition not by the government.
3. I'm strongly against a two tier system, where TNC's, like Uber and Lyft, exist under different
regulations than taxi fleets. This is patently unfair!!! Take for example Passenger Vehicle
Licenses (PVLs). It appears that under proposed regulations the County requires one type of
transportation company, taxi fleets, to have licenses and the other, TNCs do not face these
requirements. Furthermore, the influx of an unlimited number of Uber cars devalues PVls
which is unfair to my fellow drivers, many of whom have invested in PVls.
J
As you know, I testified in a previous T
&
E Committee meeting and I'm more than willing to meet with
council members and share my insight from a business perspective. Thank you for your time.
C7
Bruce Block, brucejayblock@hotmail.com
Date
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February 25, 2015
To: Montgomery County Council T
&
E Committee
My name is Jaynullslam, a Barwood taxi, affiliate driver. You may remember me from my testimony in
support of expedited Bill 53-14. I'll refresh you on my back story. I've had the privilege of driving for
Barwood and serving the citizens of Montgomery County for more than 8 years. I live in Montgomery
County, Silver Spring to be exact. As an affiliate driver I hold a Passenger Vehicle License, also known as
a PVL.
As an owner and a driver I feel I have been negatively affected by the influx of unlicensed ope(ators who
work for Transportation Network Companies, like Uber and Lyft.. At one point I had two PVLs but was
recently forced to sell one due to the illegal competition from TNCs.
It has come to my attention that the County Council is considering suggested changes to the taxicab
industry proposed by a driver's union. I want to make it abundantly clear that the driver's union does
NOT represent me. I'm concerned with some of their proposals and would like to address that with you
here.
1. I do not believe drivers should become employees. As an affiliate, I consider myself to be a
small business owner. I currently own and operate my vehicle but if
1
was to ever decide to
have someone else operate my vehicle I would incur additional costs which could potentially put
me out of business. I would have to get a workman's comp policy, file quarterly taxes and pay
the employers portion of the tax and get W2s.
2. I am strongly against prohibiting the transfer of my PVL, which means I could never sell it! I
consider my PVL purchase to be an investment. Already, the presence of an unlimited number
of Uber cars has substantially devalued my PVL. To think on top of this devaluation that I would
be prohibited from selling my PVL is unbelievable. I'd like to add that what we
should
focus on
is limiting the number of TNC vehicles. Without a limit on their number the value of all PVLs will
be eliminated which is not fair to those, such as myself, who have invested in them.
3. I also do not want the County to dictate what I can charge in rent if I decide to have a driver
operate my vehicle. I want to be able to base daily rent on my business needs and business
expenses, and not have it dictated to me. I believe the freedom to run my own business is the
same thing any business owner would want.
Thank you for taking the time to again hear my views on the transportation for hire industry in
Montgomery County.,
t
:'
(
/;
;:.
,w{
IJt
I
V-.
Date
/"'/~;~u
I Isla m, Uslam365@yahoo.com
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February
26, 2015
To the Montgomery COlUlty Council T
&
E Committee:
My name is Kwadwo Owusu, but everyone knows me as Kojo. I've leased and driven a taxi for
Barwood for 4 years. Prior to Barwood I was a manager for Horne Depot. I have a bachelors in
business administration from the University of Ghana and a certificate of architectural engineering
from Holloway College in London.
I can't be at the work session today because I am focused on my customers who I have pre-arranged
trips with and I don't want to let them down. Bottles of water, granola bars, and a smile are what
every customer who sits in my taxi receives. Customer service is extremely important to me. I've
always believed the customer comes first.
Even though service is my main focus I've definitely noticed the drivers' union talk. I first became
aware of the union when my name was falsely added to the petition they presented to Montgomery
County. Another driver actually signed MY name without my permission! Please know the drivers'
union doesn't represent me. I don't have anything against the union but I have a voice and if! have
anything to 'say I will speak up as I'm doing today.
I understand the union is proposing the County set lease rates, mandate there is no credit card
transaction fee and require drivers become employees.
I don't feel this is necessary. I think these are shortcuts that some drivers want instead of taking
the time to build a business. I'm successful because of the work I put into the position. From the
moment I got a cab I begin reaching out to customers, doing every trip and asking customers to call
me back. This is how I built up over
100
personal customers who like to call me directly.
The credit card processing fee doesn't keep me from making money, would I love to have that
money back in my pocket, sure who wouldn't, but that's not holding me down at all. It's up to me to
be successful and 'make money.
I'm not depressed over the current rent, sure I don't want it to increase but I'm very comfortable
with where it is now. I dress in a suit and tie every day. I respect the business, I work hard and I'm
successful. I look at it like a business, sure there are some expenses but if I was a salaried employee
I would have money taken from my gross for insurance,
401
K etc.
I'm not part of the union because they are trying to follow the ideology of all drivers against the
owner, but what they forgot about is the owner is a business person as well and he has to maintain the
business. I care about the business, I care about drivers' success as well as the drivers' family which
depends on the driver. This is why I go to Barwood's new driver classes each week and spend
20­
3~,?~!ltes
to teach and
~otivate
new
d~ve7rs
This is how I
ChOOS~
to use my voice.
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115
Date
Kwadwo Owusu
, koj05555@yahoo.com
 PDF to HTML - Convert PDF files to HTML files
Cuthbert Joseph
3012 Castleleigh Road
Silver Spring,
l\ID
20904
202-438-3784
February 26, 2015
To the Montgomery County Council:
My name is Cuthbert Joseph and my wife and I came to this country 50 years ago from Grenada.
I drove a taxi in DC when I first came to the US. I started leasing a
taxi
from Barwood in 1986
until 2006 when I was issued my own PVL by Montgomery County. I then affiliated my
taxi
with Barwood. My wife and I own our home in Montgomery County and we've raised our
children and put them all through college. I can say that I have made a successful career out of
driving a taxi.
I have owned 3 vehicles that I operated as Harwood Taxi 340 through the years beginning in
2006 through 2015. I currently have a 2012 Scion XB and my customers love it.
I heard that the driver's union and the county council want to make changes that will affect my
taxi business. The union does not represent me and I do not agree with Councilmember
Riemer's proposed amendment, particularly on these issues:
• The County should not set the rates on what I can charge for my taxi every two years. As
long as I've owned my own taxi, the price of maintenance, parts and labor have gone up
in price but yet the amount that I can charge my customers stays the same. Now that
illegal taxis are operating in Montgomery County, they are low balling their prices, my
personal customers that I have been transporting for years are expecting me to drive for
$1.25 per mile. I cannot afford to do that when I have to pay the cost to maintain my
vehicle, purchase automobile insurance, gas, County and MVA fees, and vehicles loans if
I have one at the time.
• I do not agree that drivers should be guaranteed a minimum wage and be employees.
• I do not agree that you should distribute more PVLs. We already have enough
competition with the illegal taxis, adding more PVLs would affect my revenue even
more. How will I be able to guarantee myself minimum wage?
• The fmal point is that I should be able to transfer my PVL.
If
I have been allowed to use
the PVL as collateral and have a security interest on it, then I should be able to transfer it.
It
is my asset and it has been that way for 50 years.
Please reconsider what you are proposing so that taxi owners like me can survive in the taxi
b~sin,es~s
~ ¥ontg~mery
County.
i
Respec
y,
Cuthbert Joseph
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