City council is proposing to change a city ordinance to regulate jitneys in Houston. In case you aren’t familiar with them, jitneys are basically the electric shuttles that run downtown and will often go shorter distances than taxis.
The new ordinance might increase the minimum number of seats in all jitneys from four to nine. Otherwise, they will not be licensed and, therefore, will not be allowed to operate. Rev Eco-Shuttle (http://gorevgo.com/) is one of two jitney services in all of Houston, and they say that even if their current jitneys could be grandfathered in somehow, the new ordinance will have a negative effect on their company (see article here).
Council Member Sue Lovell said “‘We want him to comply and we want him to be licensed. And we want passengers to feel safe, and we want them to feel like the driver is someone they can trust’”.
Of course we want to make sure that Houstonians are safe on the roads, but the new ordinance (if passed) will do nothing other than place unnecessary hardships on Houston businesses. I would like to see what reports city council has showing that nine seats are safer than four. If there is clear proof of this, then fine, but I am so tired of ordinances based on nothing. And aren’t we trying to be a green city? I thought city council would love the idea of electric shuttles, but instead, they could easily be regulated out of existence. I guess then it would be one less business to compete against Metro.