San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 8th, 2010
Council revamps 40-year-old taxi ordinance

STAFF REPORT

Enacted in 1970, San Marcos’ taxi ordinance is a curious piece of regulation both because it does not require things one would expect from a taxi ordinance and because it prohibits things one would expect of a taxi.

The ordinance does not limit rates, establish channels to remedy complaints or require cab inspections other than the state inspection expected of all vehicles on the road.

It does, however, prohibit cabdrivers from patrolling for fares or waiting outside bars or venues where they are likely to find riders. This particular provision is inconvenient to city officials’ efforts to encourage the the two cab companies licensed to operate in the city limits to hang out downtown after closing time to offer lifts to intoxicated bar patrons.

“It really is high time to change it,” police Cmdr. Warren Zerr told the San Marcos City Council on Tuesday when it unanimously approved an updated ordinance on the first of two required votes.

Besides removing the patrolling for fare prohibition, the pending new laws set a rate limits of $10 per destination for in-town trips and $2 per mile for out-of-town travel. It also requires that cab companies provide service 7 a.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. Hoping to encourage rickshaws downtown, the ordinance also provides for the permitting of pedicabs.

Two companies, Hays Taxi Services and Corridor Cab, are licensed to operate in the city limits.

DOWNLOADS

» Proposed revisions to taxi ordinance [pdf]

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