Milwaukee Common Council
Press Release

Proposal to lift cap on taxicab permits, create legal path for network company vehicles gets second look Tuesday

“The Council is poised to adopt ground-breaking legislation that in my opinion will be looked at by other large cities and communities across the nation.”

By - Jul 18th, 2014 01:22 pm

After voting last month to hold a proposed ordinance lifting the cap on taxicab permits and establishing provisions for vehicle inspections and driver licensing for “network companies” such as Uber and Lyft, the full Common Council will take up the measure under unfinished business on Tuesday, July 22.

The proposal (Common Council file # 131800) – recommended for approval last month by the Public Works Committee – also establishes a path for network company vehicles to operate legally in Milwaukee and requires the vehicles and drivers to undergo the same requirements that are currently in place for all other types of vehicles now licensed by the city.

File # 131800 – sponsored by nine Council members – includes reforms to the taxi cab license process that will reduce the time and red tape involved in obtaining a taxi permit and a public passenger vehicle license.

Under these reforms it would be possible to obtain all necessary permits and licenses in one day allowing a new
driver to get on the road immediately.

The Common Council made history last fall when members passed legislation raising the cap on the number of taxicab permits from 320 to 420 — the first time in decades the number of permits had been increased.

The proposed ordinance – authored by Alderman Robert J. Bauman — seeks to accommodate a rapidly changing market that now includes Uber and Lyft, which have been operating without regulation in Milwaukee for several months.

“The Council is poised to adopt ground-breaking legislation that in my opinion will be looked at by other large cities and communities across the nation,” Alderman Bauman said.

On Tuesday the Council will also take up to residency restrictions and loitering regulations for sex offenders in the City of Milwaukee. The ordinance changes would bar certain convicted sex offenders from establishing a permanent or temporary residence within 2,000 feet of any school, licensed day care center, park, recreational trail, playground or any other location designated by the city as a place where children are known to congregate.

Currently in Milwaukee County, 89 percent of these offenders live within the city proper, prompting Alderman Tony Zielinski to sponsor the measure, which was recommended for approval by the Steering and Rules Committee on July 10.

The Council Tuesday will also weigh in on a resolution supporting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan.

Sponsored by Alderman Bauman, Alderman Terry L. Witkowski and Alderman Nik Kovac, the resolution would put the Council on record in support of the Clean Power Plan proposal, which was released by the EPA last month and for the first time calls for reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants – the largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S.

According to the legislative file (140371), by 2030 the Clean Power Plan will help cut carbon pollution nationwide from the power sector by approximately 30% from 2005 levels, and will also reduce by more than 25% pollutants that contribute heavily to the soot and smog that make people sick.

The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday in the third floor Council Chamber at City Hall, 200 E. Wells St.
Tuesday’s Council meeting will be televised live on the City Channel (Channel 25 on Time Warner Cable in the City of Milwaukee), and on U-Verse Channel 99. Online viewing is available by going to www.city.milwaukee.gov/Channel25.

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