The Corpus Christi City Council has taken Uber away from us!
The City Council has taken actions that have pushed Uber and Lyft out of town. And they won’t be coming back to Corpus Christi until the Council passes reasonable regulations for ride-sharing companies. Uber and local supporters have worked diligently with the council to find ways to make this right and bring back modern transportation options to our citizens.
What can you do?
What did City Council do?
The Corpus Christi City Council held a regular meeting on March 8, 2016. The agenda included the Second Reading of a proposed ordinance that, if passed, would impose strict regulations (including “FBI-fingerprinting”) upon Transportation Network Companies – such as Uber and Lyft. Prior to the meeting, the companies communicated to City Council, and the public, that such regulations don’t fit within their normal business models, which they use to operate safely in hundreds of other cities across the United States. Council was made aware, prior to the meeting, that both companies would cease operations in Corpus Christi if the ordinance passed with these burdensome regulations. After many hours of debate and public comment, the council members voted 7-1 to pass the ordinance anyway. (Mark Scott was the lone dissenting vote.) Colleen McIntyre also argued against the ordinance, but voted to pass it for process reasons. The ordinance was set to go into effect on Monday, March 14, after notification of the new law was published in the newspaper.
What happened after the meeting?
The public voiced large outrage regarding this decision via TV interviews, newspaper articles and social media. As previously stated, Uber and Lyft both issued statements that they planned to cease operations in Corpus Christi over the weekend, due to the new ordinance passed by the City Council. Subsequently, feeling intense pressure from the public, some council members began voicing intentions to reconsider the matter at their next regular meeting, scheduled for March 29. However, the goodwill between the city and these companies had been damaged. Uber ceased operations in Corpus Christi at 10 p.m. on Sunday, March 13. Lyft left town the next day. On Tuesday, March 15, a group of citizens filed a request for referendum with the city, to push the City Council to reconsider the issue, take appropriate action to remedy the situation, and bring Uber and Lyft back to Corpus Christi.
Has the Council taken action?
On March 29th, the City Council held their regularly scheduled meeting. The audience was packed with Uber supporters who made it clear to council that we want Uber back in Corpus Christi. The council debated the issue for several hours and eventually bent to the will of the people to reconsider the ordinance. The only two council members that refused to reconsider were Mayor Nelda Martinez and Brian Rosas (District 2); they have no desire to bring back ride-sharing. Council Members Mark Scott (at-large), Colleen McIntyre (D4), Michael Hunter (newly-appointed at-large), and Chad Magill (at-large) are supportive of bringing Uber and Lyft back to CC. Those that are undecided include Rudy Garza (D5), Carolyn Vaughn (D1), and Lucy Rubio (D3).
The issue is still in limbo and ride-sharing has NOT been restored to Corpus Christi yet! The Council asked city staff to come up with a new ordinance for the council to consider within 60 days that might bring back Uber and Lyft. Five (5) members of the city council need to vote in favor of this new ordinance to pass it.
What else are we doing?
The organizers of #SaveUberInCC filed a Statement of Intent to Petition via the Initiative Process on April 15, 2016. This Filing by Initiative included 83 names of prominent community leaders that want Uber back in our city. The filing also included a Proposed Ordinance that the group wishes the City Council to consider passing. This ordinance is based on the ordinance passed by College Station recently that allowed Uber to operate in that city. The Council will have the opportunity to pass this ordinance in the next couple of months. If they don’t pass it, organizers will circulate a petition to put the matter to a public vote on the November ballot. Over 9,000 petition signatures from registered Corpus Christi voters will be needed to get the issue on the ballot. See Filing.