Cincinnati Taxicab Advisory Commission. Policy Recommendations Prepared For Cincinnati City Council

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1 Cincinnati Taxicab Advisory Commission Policy Recommendations Prepared For Cincinnati City Council May 7, 2012

2 Table of Contents Introductory Letter Background Consultant Priority: World Choir Games Taxi Stands Fares and Rates Signage in Car Orientations and Training Programs Customer Bill of Rights and Expectations Customer Service Hotline Priority: Within 12 Months Background Checks Vehicle Standards Accessible Taxicabs Credit Card and Electronic Payment Administrative Restructuring Inspections and Insurance Priority: 12 to 24 Months Five Star Taxi Program Standardized Exterior Signage Taxicab Governance Model Fuel Efficient Vehicles Airport Appendices Chicago Taxi Regulations Additional Accessibility Information Taxicab Regulations in the News

3 Introductory Letter Dear Colleagues and Citizens, When I first learned, last spring, that it was not legal to wave down and be picked up by a taxicab in Cincinnati, I knew that regulation needed to change, and it did. What I did not know was the depth or breath of reform our city s taxi system truly demanded. In conversations with drivers, owners, riders, stakeholders, and other City officials, I discovered how much had to be examined and changed. Taxis are often the first and the last impression a visitor has of our city, yet needed reforms to the industry have generally been ignored. The imminence of the World Choir Games and the great number of visitors this will bring to our city, whether from one county or several countries away, added a timeliness and urgency for me to take up this matter. I initially approached this process of reform through my Council committee, but quickly realized that the timely, effective, and thorough review of the taxi system that was needed could not occur in Council Chambers alone. So I, with the unanimous support of my colleagues, called for the formation of the Cincinnati Taxicab Advisory Commission, a task force charged with preparing a comprehensive set of policy recommendations for Council to consider and enact. From the start, I knew this task force had to be as inclusive as possible if it was to be successful. Taxi drivers, owners, and riders all needed to have a voice, as did stakeholders representing hospitality, arts, business, and development. Any change is difficult, and change such as this can only work with the input and expertise of so many. As a result of the facilitation graciously offered by David Ginsburg and Gina Gartner at Downtown Cincinnati, Inc. and the hard work of co-chairs Rick Reynolds, Tom Nicolaus, and Jack Goodwin, as well as all subcommittee members, I believe we have before us a great and informed opportunity to make real, positive change to the taxi industry in Cincinnati. It is my charge to this Council that we move forward and accomplish these much-needed reforms. It is much for us to take on, but the benefits for the city will be far-reaching. I offer my greatest thanks to all who have been involved, and I look forward to seeing the positive outcomes of this work. Sincerely, Councilman Wendell Young 3

4 Background Why was the Cincinnati Taxicab Advisory Commission formed? It was formed because of experiences such as a cab that could not make it up the cut in the hill to CVG, of an executive job applicant waiting on the steps of P&G, searching and unable to find a cab to travel, and of cab drivers unable to earn the same fare as his/her counterparts in nearby counties. These issues, among many, demonstrated a need for thoughtful and thorough reform. The importance of taxicabs cannot be overestimated, and neither can the amount of work that must be done to improve the taxicab industry in Cincinnati. Taxicabs are our city s ambassadors. For visitors coming to Cincinnati from the airport whether for leisure, business, arts and culture, or a job interview their first and final impression of the city is often a cab ride. In all cities, visitors look to taxis as guides, expecting the driver to know and promote the city, to be able to make recommendations, to offer them a safe, pleasant, and fair ride to their destination. In addition to outside visitors, residents of the Greater Cincinnati region who want to spend an evening downtown or in any other neighborhood business district are more likely to do so if they are assured they can find safe, reliable transportation home. Raising the taxi industry to a higher standard will mean better business for all. The Cincinnati Taxicab Advisory Commission was formed to address these issues. The commission brought together a diverse collection of citizens representing both customers of taxis and the taxi industry itself. The commission consisted of three chairs, each of whom led a subcommittee which focused on one of three areas: Driver, Car, and Service. Through multiple subcommittee meetings, chair meetings and commission-wide meetings, the chairs developed the recommendations found herein. An improved taxi industry is better for the city, it is better for drivers, and it is better for all customers looking for a ride in a cab. The Cincinnati Taxicab Advisory Commission asks and anticipates that City Council carefully consider the recommendations given here, and that Councilmembers work to expediently enact the necessary changes. 4

5 Mission Statement In recognition of the importance of enhancing the image of our community for its visitors and residents, the Cincinnati Taxicab Advisory Commission will develop recommendations to City Council for reform to improve the safety, image and reliability of the taxi system in the greater Cincinnati metropolitan area. The Commission will do this by engaging the input and cooperation of community stakeholders and investigating best practices used by other cities that have successfully addressed taxi regulations in their communities. Goals of the Cincinnati Taxicab Advisory Commission - Provide a comprehensive, holistic approach to recommending reforms to the taxicab system in Cincinnati - Improve customer experience for all taxicab customers, including local citizens and visitors to Cincinnati - Raise the standards for doing business for taxicab company owners, whether they manage one vehicle or a large fleet, to improve the industry as a whole - Maintain and promote opportunities for small business and entrepreneurial efforts through taxicab ownership - Create a safer taxicab system for passengers and drivers - Compare best practices in other cities and consider their application locally - To recommended changes that work towards the good of the industry as well as the customer Note: current Cincinnati taxicab regulations can be found in the Cincinnati Municipal Code Chapter

6 Consultant Problem/Issue: The Cincinnati Taxicab Advisory Commission has made recommendations based on the suggestions of its members and an initial survey of best practices in other cities. It is necessary to have a credible, impartial expert examine Cincinnati s current standards as well as best-practice industry standards to advise the City on certain specific policy changes. Recommendation: Engage a consultant to conduct extensive analyses of current best practices and local market factors and make specific recommendations regarding the Cincinnati taxicab program. These recommendations should include, but not be limited to: o Vehicle Standards (age, mileage, maintenance) o Accessible Vehicles (proportion of fleet, type of vehicle) o Insurance and Inspections (requirements, cost) These recommendations should also include a suggested means of implementing the changes. 6

7 Priority World Choir Games 7

8 Taxi Stands Problem/Issue: Highly attended retail, entertainment areas, and visitor centers need easier, more efficient access to taxis Improved taxi stands would increase the perceptions of safety and access to and from these areas Visitors may perceive the city as lacking in taxi availability when travelling away from the downtown hotels to other venues Taxi drivers have difficulty when loading and unloading in high traffic areas that may impact the safety of customers and others Recommendation: Increase and improve taxi stand locations. Better communicate location of stands to the public. Expand the number of both permanent and temporary/part-time taxi stand locations, and work to ensure the public is aware of these additional stands. Below is a list of priority locations. Request that each community council submit recommendations for taxi stand locations in their neighborhood. Clarify, standardize and consistently enforce the laws regulating taxi stand loading and unloading. Specific attention should be paid to issues governing the loading and unloading of accessible vehicles for seniors and passengers with disabilities. Prominently display maps identifying the locations and times of operation of taxi stand locations in hotels, restaurants and other places frequented by downtown visitors. These postings should include telephone numbers for the various cab companies. Proposed Taxi Stand Locations Over-the-Rhine/Gateway Quarter (evenings) Uptown/University of Cincinnati (permanent or evenings) The Banks and Moerlein Lager House (permanent or evenings) Paul Brown Stadium (temporary, for games) Horseshoe Casino (permanent or evenings) Great American Ball Park (temporary, for games) US Bank Arena (temporary, for events) Duke Convention Center/City Hall (permanent or temporary, for events) Mt. Lookout Square (evenings) Oakley Square (evenings) Hyde Park Square (evenings) 8

9 Fares and Rates Problem/Issue: Different fare rates in different neighborhoods, counties or across state lines cause customer confusion and distrust of the industry Visitors travelling from CVG to downtown Cincinnati complain that rates are not consistent when travelling in one direction versus another The fare in the City of Cincinnati is not competitive with neighboring communities Increased fares will allow taxis to meet a higher industry standard without hindering the entrepreneurial, small-business opportunities offered by the taxicab business. Recommendation: Standardize the fares/rates for taxi service within Greater Cincinnati, including the Northern Kentucky counties and CVG. Increase the standardized fares as necessary, to be competitive with those of similar communities, while enabling the taxi companies to provide quality service and to make a reasonable profit. Increase the fare schedule for Cincinnati, which has not been done since 2006, to be regionally standardized. The recommended fare schedule is: o Drop Fee: For the drop off (first ¼ mile) $4.00 o For each additional 1/8 mile or part thereof in excess of the first ¼ mile $0.25 per 1/8 mile ($2.00 per mile) o Waiting time, per hour not to exceed $25.00 o This is currently the fare schedule for CVG and Newport. Standardize the fares consistently over the entire footprint of the tri-state service area. This should be the case whether addressing fares to and from the airport or between other destinations within the footprint on either a flat rate or metered rate basis. While issues regarding interstate commerce may impact these efforts, we believe the issue is important enough to those using the services that standardization of fares should be promptly addressed. 9

10 Signage in Car Problem/Issue: A taxicab passenger should be able to clearly identify the name and license numbers of the vehicle and driver from within the back seat of the taxi so that he or she may report problems or successes Inconsistent signage in taxicabs causes the industry to appear unprofessional and causes distrust for passengers Recommendation: Standardize signage in the back seat of taxicabs so that the driver, vehicle, and taxi company are clearly identified and the customer is aware of how and to whom to register feedback or complaints. Require that the signage on the interior of the taxicab vehicle clearly identify the driver, the taxi company, the company s specific car number, and the City license number Provide contact information for all entities, including the central customer service line In addition to this identification sheet, a driver ID should be visible and at a minimum, the driver ID should include the driver s picture and name, licensing authority and license number Post this information on a standard form that is designed to catch the attention of and not confuse a passenger Make easily visible from the back seat and illuminate in low visibility or at night Include the information in braille for the benefit of visually-impaired passengers Incorporate Globili into this signage to allow for easy translation consistent with other new signage in Cincinnati. 10

11 Orientations and Training Programs Problem/Issue: Passengers complain of drivers who do not efficiently navigate the city, do not understand instructions, or otherwise are not trained to provide consistent and quality customer service Taxi drivers are often not informed of special events, scheduled road construction or other news which may impact their business and the experience of their passengers Taxi drivers serve as ambassadors of our city the experience of being a passenger in a taxicab may be the first and last impression that a visitor to Cincinnati USA has when travelling to our region Individual owner-operators do not have access to business and customer service training, which could enhance their operations and earnings. Recommendation: Create and require regular orientation and training programs for owners and drivers of taxicabs. Before the World Choir Games, there should be a training session specifically regarding the event that is required for all owners and drivers to attend. This session should inform participants about the event (including locations and schedule), provide materials for passengers, include sensitivity training, and explain expectations for customer service and experience. After this event, attendance to these orientations and training programs should be obligatory for license-renewal. o Sessions should be offered frequently and at varied times to accommodate schedules and allow for drivers to attend without negatively affecting their ability to operate and earn an income o For new applicants for a license: A comprehensive set of training sessions should be developed and attendance/passage required before a license is granted. o For veteran drivers: Attendance to two continuing education classes annually should be required in order for a license to be renewed. o These sessions can address a variety of industry topics, changes in policy, business improvement suggestions, etc. o Consider partnering with Cincinnati State to administer these orientation and training programs. Improved methods for consistent communication to taxi drivers should also be developed. This may include a text message alert system that would allow a central authority to communicate as needed with urgent messages. 11

12 Customer Bill of Rights and Expectations Problem/Issue: Customers may not currently be aware of their rights as passengers of taxicabs. Customers and drivers may have different expectations. Good signage with clear information regarding expectations for the taxi experience protects both parties. Consistent expectations among passengers and drivers would help to raise the standard of the taxi industry. Recommendation: Provide a Bill of Rights and Expectations to clarify for customers and drivers what they can and should expect from the taxi experience. Post in every authorized taxicab Post in hotels and other high traffic visitor areas Develop communication strategy to communicate the Bill of Rights and Expectations to the public, including through online marketing For an example of a passenger bill of rights, see the included Passenger Information from the City of Chicago (Appendix, page 29) 12

13 Customer Service Hotline Problem/Issue: Customers are not always aware of how to register a complaint or report a success regarding a taxi driver or company There is no centralized authority for recording or tracking customer feedback When a driver or company has received multiple complaints that are found to be valid, it would benefit the public and the industry for this to be tracked and responded to in a way that protects passengers Recommendation: Expand the City s customer service hotline and website and to also accept customer feedback regarding taxicab issues. Post this customer service line inside of taxicab vehicles for passengers to see Publicize this customer service line to local hotels and businesses Record and track comments received Develop and enforce process for City personnel to follow up on feedback received Create an accessible, informative City webpage regarding taxis, as Indianapolis has done with 13

14 Priority Within 12 Months 14

15 Background Checks Problem/Issue: Currently, the criminal background check and motor vehicle report that are required by the taxicab licensing process only checks an individual s record in Hamilton County, potentially leaving unknown relevant and serious transgressions that occurred in another county or state Such a limited check does not sufficiently assure the safety of passengers Recommendation: Expand the criminal background check and motor vehicle report to be a multi-state check, not solely a Hamilton County check. Further, consider putting into place a drug testing program as a licensing requirement, including pre-testing and possibly subsequent random testing Maintain the industry-wide standard of care, which requires these checks to cover five years prior to the report Have the agency performing the check send the official record directly to the City agency responsible for licensing 15

16 Vehicle Standards Problem/Issue: Many vehicles being used as taxicabs in Cincinnati are of such an age, condition, and high mileage that they may pose safety concerns for the passenger. Passengers have reported issues such as vehicles with missing floors, vehicles that can barely ascend the cut in the hill, vehicles emitting excessive smoke, and other health and safety issues. The passenger s perceived and real safety is at risk with taxicabs that are too old or high in mileage to operate safely, properly, and consistently. Customers are less likely to use a taxicab if they do not feel that it is clean or that they will be safe in it, thus bad vehicles hurt the industry as a whole, as well as the city and the region. Recommendation: Change the vehicle specifications to ensure a higher standard of safety and service, with specific requirements determined by the consultant. For example (these numbers ought to be amended according to the consultant), require that any vehicle that is more than five model years old, or has more than 150,000 miles on its odometer not be placed into service for the first time as a taxicab. Require that in order to remain in operation as a taxicab, a vehicle must be no more than eight model years old, or have no more than 200,000 miles on its odometer. Exceptions to this requirement may include vans that are equipped and approved for taxicab usage, specially-equipped wheelchair accessible vehicles, and/or approved fuel-efficient vehicles. For an example of vehicle requirements, see the included Specifications for Taxicab Vehicles from the City of Chicago (Appendix, page 31) 16

17 Accessible Taxicabs Problem/Issue: People with disabilities and limited mobility, including many seniors, often require specially-equipped cabs, of which there are very few in Cincinnati. Not being able to access specially-equipped taxicabs limits their ability to work, visit, and engage in economic activity. Drivers lose fares when their vehicles are not equipped to pick up all passengers As the population continues to age, the need for accessible taxicabs will also increase Use of accessible taxis ca bring down the cost of paratransit (ACCESS) and medical transportation, and allow for more spontaneous trips Recommendation: Require the introduction of more specially-equipped, wheelchair-accessible taxicab vehicles into the Cincinnati taxi service industry within the next 12 to 24 months. The consultant should determine the specific requirements and parameters, though we believe that 10-12% of all taxicabs be wheelchair accessible. Special equipment might include sidewalk side ramps, forward facing wheelchair seating, wheelchair tie downs, and space for service animals and at least one additional passenger. At present such vehicles comprise a very small percentage of the regional Cincinnati taxicab fleet. It is recommended as necessary that wheelchair access vehicles be on 24-hour dispatch, with one phone number that can put a customer in touch with all companies that operate wheelchair-accessible vehicles. In creating an accessible taxicab system, the City of Cincinnati s Transportation and Engineering Department should determine defined and marked loading and unloading areas. Further, it is recommended to create an on-going certification and licensing program for companies and drivers that are qualified to serve customers in need of accessible taxicabs. There may be state, federal, or corporate subsidies or grants available to facilitate the move to a more wheelchair-accessible taxicab fleet in the Cincinnati region. See Appendix, page 33 for additional information, including vehicle examples and suggested grant sources. 17

18 Credit Card and Electronic Payment Problem/Issue: Many taxicabs in Cincinnati cannot accommodate credit cards as a payment method. Passengers expect to be able to pay with credit cards, due to how ubiquitous this method of payment is. If a passenger only has a credit card as a means to pay, the driver may be left unpaid for the service. Transaction fees for credit cards are a burden on drivers, often making them not want to accept this form of payment. Recommendation: All Cincinnati taxicabs should be equipped with an approved taxi meter and equipment capable of accepting all major credit cards and debit cards as payment for fares. Develop a structure that works for driver and customer, such as: o Drivers must accept cash, card, or electronic payment for all fares exceeding $15 plus tip. o If a passenger wishes to pay with a card or electronically for a fare below $15, the driver must allow the passenger to do so, but a $1 surcharge will be automatically added to help offset the transaction fee charged to the driver. This surcharge should appear in the fare schedule, and a specific ( extra ) button should be on the meter to add this charge. The City should create a payment plan for drivers, particularly individual owner-operators, to make it more feasible for them to purchase this equipment. As the technology becomes more prevalent, taxicabs should also be required to accept computer-chip based or magnetic-strip based smart cards, and other electronic methods of payment. 18

19 Administrative Restructuring Problem/Issue: Public Vehicles is very overworked and understaffed, limiting its potential capacity and making it difficult for the department to execute all of its responsibilities. Currently, Public Vehicles is within the Cincinnati Police Department, and the Police exercise jurisdiction over inspection and administration of taxicabs, requiring the time and pay level of the Police for many duties that do not demand Police work. Recommendation: Make structural changes regarding the administration of taxicabs by the City, adding support staff and moving administrative functions outside of the Cincinnati Police Department. A City of Cincinnati Division of Licensing and Enforcement should be created, which will be staffed to accommodate the volume of taxis in the market and be dedicated to licensing and enforcement of driver and vehicle requirements. This should be an entity outside of the Cincinnati Police Department. While traffic enforcement will remain within their jurisdiction, it is recommended that CPD not be responsible for licensing, inspections, and other enforcement. See Taxicab Governance Model (page 25) 19

20 Inspections and Insurance Problem/Issue: Currently, only $100,000 in liability insurance in required per licensed taxicab vehicle, leaving drivers, passengers, and others on the streets at risk in the case of an accident. Drivers who seek to be safer and purchase more insurance are at a financial disadvantage as a result. Many vehicles in operation as taxicabs do not appear to meet the necessary standards of vehicle quality and safety, calling to question the effectiveness of the current inspections set-up. On the street inspections are often inconsistent, subjective, and problematic to drivers. If the semi-annual inspection called for in the code was more strictly and consistently enforced, there would not be an issue of subjectivity and vehicles would safer and of a higher quality. Recommendation: Increase the insurance requirement, incentivize having better coverage, and/or create a buying group for owners and drivers seeking to purchase better coverage to help them obtain it at a better price. Have the consultant research and recommend the specific requirements. Consistently enforce the current code regarding inspections, and investigate any issues with those individuals authorized to complete inspections. If the inspection code is enforced and quality does not significantly improve, re-evaluate further and make necessary changes. 20

21 Priority 12 to 24 Months 21

22 Five Star Taxi Program Problem/Issue: There is no way for passengers to know which taxicabs will provide them the safest, highest quality service. Drivers and companies who provide exceptional service have no means to be recognized or awarded, leaving less motivation for them to make improvements beyond what is mandated. Small and individual taxi businesses can lose business to bigger names, even if they are providing excellent service, because of customer recognition and comfort. A visible recognition of high service quality is better for these drivers and for customers. Recommendation: Create a Five Star Taxi incentive program to improve conditions in the taxicab industry generally in the Cincinnati region. Five-star status could be displayed on recipients vehicles for a designated period of time, for example as an emblem or a special, colored top light. For call service, these taxicabs should receive priority at hotels, restaurants, events, and other venues in the city. Drivers or cab companies or cab company personnel could achieve five star status for exemplary service as witnessed by peers in the industry, customers (reporting on a taxicab customer service line), or hospitality (hotel) personnel who interact frequently with taxi drivers and the taxi cab industry. Five-star status should be conferred by a quarterly-meeting committee including representation from customer stakeholders, such as the Convention and Visitor s Bureau, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, the Hotel Association, and individual riders. A How Am I Doing? or Secret Shopper type program with a diverse group of participants should be created in connection to this process, both to find and award good drivers and to certify that drivers are meeting required standards. 22

23 Problem/Issue: Standardized Exterior Signage The appearance of cabs varies greatly, making it difficult to identify a certified cab Passengers perceive this inconsistency as unprofessional, and it can affect their perception of safety as well Drivers with certified licenses lose business to illegal taxicabs With no standard identification system in place, there is no clear way to specify a vehicle in recognition or report Recommendation: Make requirements for signage and markings on the exterior of taxicabs be made more standardized in order to more clearly identify all local, registered taxicabs. Have the City Administration work with a local graphic design firm to develop a standard, partial marking for certified taxicabs to make City legitimacy more visible. The word taxi or taxicab should be plainly visible on the side and rear of the vehicle. Company identifying numbers should also be on the side and rear of the vehicle. The placement and appearance of these identifiers, including the font and size of the letters and numbers used, should be standard across all owners and operators. A visible and easily recognizable emblem should be placed on all certified taxicabs to allow for quick identification by customers. There should be a standard, lighted sign on the top of the vehicle with the word taxi plainly displayed. The sign should be illuminated when the car is available for hire. The measurements, font, and color of the illuminated rooftop sign should be standard for all taxicabs. The fare scheduled should also be clearly posted on the exterior of a taxicab in a standard size, font, and location. All new and old regulations of taxicab appearance such as those concerning size, placement, and design of a company logo be consistently and strictly enforced. 23

24 Taxicab Governance Model Problem/Issue: A lack of effective industry-wide communication means much of what is passed along is hearsay, and it is difficult to alert owners and drivers to new policies, ideas, events, etc. Many tasks that could benefit the industry are not executed because there is no one to do so Insufficient industry oversight leads to lower quality vehicles and service, and no one to set and enforce standards Recommendation: Restructure the City department with jurisdiction over taxicabs. Work with surrounding municipalities and stakeholders to create a Regional Advisory Commission and a Taxi Service Trade Association. An intergovernmental governance, enforcement, and advisory model has been developed, which will help enhance the customer s experience (see attached chart). The model contains three elements: o A City of Cincinnati Division of Licensing and Enforcement, which will be staffed to accommodate the volume of taxis in the market and be dedicated to licensing and enforcement of driver and vehicle requirements. This should be an entity outside of the Cincinnati Police Department. While traffic enforcement will remain within their jurisdiction, it is recommended that CPD not be responsible for licensing, inspections, and other enforcement. This division will set standards for driver training, cab appearance, continuing education and certification. o A Regional Advisory Commission comprised of appointed representatives from the appropriate governmental entities in Ohio and Kentucky, and would include the City of Cincinnati and CVG. Their purpose is to meet regularly to develop recommendations to be made to the governing bodies on issues of a regional nature to promote consistency of service across the jurisdictional footprint. o A Taxi Service Trade Association will be established to develop standards for drivers and services, and act as an advocate for the industry and its members. Membership will be voluntary and comprised of taxi owners, drivers and other parties involved in the industry. As depicted in the attached chart, these three entities will necessarily be interactive in order to achieve the desired industry results. 24

25 25

26 Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Problem/Issue: Fuel prices continue to rise and fluctuate, affecting the cost of operating a taxicab. This cost either hurts owners and drivers or is passed on to passengers. A reasonable fare must be maintained in the future, but costs of operation must be covered. The operation of any standard vehicle, including taxicabs, contributes to the consumption of fossil fuels. In creating any new policy, forward thinking about sustainability ought to be a high priority. Recommendation: Develop requirements and incentives for fuel-efficient vehicles in the taxicab industry. Within months, have these standards and a timeframe for implementation put into place. Develop a strategy to remove the most inefficient vehicles from the road. Find and apply for grants to aid the purchase of fuel efficient vehicles. 26

27 Airport Problem/Issue: CVG has an exclusive contract with one company for airport-origin taxi fares. Drivers dropping passengers off at the airport are not permitted to pick up a new passenger, causing them to waste the drive back to the city. Customers often do not understand this set-up, and can be frustrated and confused by the process and limitations. CVG seeks to ensure the safety, cleanliness, and professionalism of any taxicab that is responsible for the transportation of airport visitors. The City of Cincinnati does not have governmental jurisdiction over the airport. Recommendation: Work with CVG and the Regional Advisory Commission to discuss issues with the current CVG operating authority structure and consider solutions that would satisfy airport and driver needs. 27

28 Appendices 28

29 Chicago Taxicab Regulations Passenger Information Customer Bill of Rights: BACP oversees taxicabs in Chicago including rates of fare, public chauffeur licensing, taxicab inspections, and purchasing medallions. You can file a Taxicab compliment or complaint online or by calling 311. Please make sure you have the cab number when you call. Chicago Cab Fare Rates: The flag pull or initial charge is $2.25 for the first 1/9 mile. The additional fraction of a mile charge is $.20 for each additional 1/9 mile. Every 36 seconds of time elapsed is $.20. The flat fee for the first additional passenger over 12 and under 65 is $1.00. Each additional passenger after first passenger, over 12 and under 65 is.$50. Other Cab Information: Tipping is customary for good service. Drivers are not required to carry or change bills over $20. There is no extra charge for baggage or paying by credit card. Taxes, Surcharges and Tolls The MPEA Airport Departure Tax is $2.00 per trip, not per passenger, is added to trips to and from O Hare International Airport and Midway Airport. The tax should appear on the meter as an "extra" charge. A Gas Surcharge may apply to your fare. If a gas surcharge is in effect, a sign will be displayed inside the taxicab. A surcharge of $.50 takes effect when gas prices rise above $2.70. A surcharge of $1.00 takes effect when gas prices are above $3.20. Tolls are an extra charge to the passenger. Rates to Suburbs: Rates of fare from Chicago to all suburbs is Straight Meter to city limits and meter and one half once you pass the city limits. 29

30 Average Fares: These are average fares from State and Madison Streets to various destinations. Fares will vary, depending on traffic conditions: State and Madison to O'Hare: $30 - $35. State and Madison to Midway: $22 - $28. State and Madison to the United Center: $8 - $10. Airport Services- Straight Meter Fares: Trips from Midway or O'Hare airports to the following suburbs are Straight Meter to the followig list of suburbs and/or destinations. Rates to all other surburts are Meter and One-Half. Alsip, Bedford Park, Blue Island, Burnham, Calumet City, Calumet Park, Cicero, Des Plaines, Dolton, Elk Grove, Elmwood Park, Evanston, Evergreen Park, Forest View, Harwood Heights, Hines Hospital, Hometown, Lincolnwood, Merrionette Park, Niles, Norridge, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, Park Ridge, Riverdale, River Grove, Rosemont, Stickney, and Summit. TAP-Swipe card: Passengers with a TAP Swipe Card must present their card upon entering. The driver should swipe the card at the beginning and end of the trip. Passengers may only charge up to on a TAP card and is responsible for any amount exceeding $ Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles: If you need to order a wheelchair accessible taxicab, one free phone call can put you in touch with every taxicab company that operates wheelchair accessible cabs. Call Shoulder seat belt Wheelchair fasteners Ramp equipped Minivans meet vehicle requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Shared Ride Fares: Shared rides are taxi rides given for a flat fee per person. The following shows starting and ending points and rates. Prices listed are per person, per trip: From McCormick Place or United Center to Downtown- $7 From O Hare International Airport to Downtown or McCormick Place-$22 From Midway Airport to Downtown or McCormick Place-$16 From O Hare Airport to Midway Airport-$35 From Midway Airport to O Hare Airport-$35 30

31 Your Rights as a Passenger: Travel in a clean and safe vehicle. Direct the driver to the destination and route to use. Travel with a driver who does not use a cell phone while driving. Travel without the radio playing. Pay by Credit Card. Have heat or air conditioning turned on/off at your request. Receive a receipt upon request. Breath clean, smoke and scent free air. Be accompanied by a service animal. Your Responsibility as a Passenger: Treat your driver with respect and courtesy. Promptly pay your fare when reaching your destination. Use the curbside door to exit the cab. Buckle your seat belt. Remember to take your personal belongings with you when you exit. Battery of an on duty taxi driver is a Class 3 felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Vehicle Standards: Specifications for taxicab vehicles. The commissioner may issue licenses for motor vehicles to operate as taxicabs according to the following: (a) Vehicles having a manufacturer's rated seating capacity of ten or more persons, including the driver, may not be licensed as taxicabs. (b) A Vehicle must meet applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for vehicles of its size, type and proposed use, in order to be licensed as a taxicab. (c) Age of vehicle A licensee cannot operate a vehicle as a licensed taxicab beyond the following vehicle age: (1) Four years for vehicles that are not designated pursuant to the department's list of authorized vehicles as wheelchair accessible or fuel efficient, 31

32 (2) Five years for vehicles that are designated pursuant to the department's list of authorized vehicles as either wheelchair accessible or fuel efficient. (3) Six years for vehicles that are designated pursuant to the department's list of authorized vehicles as both wheelchair accessible and fuel efficient (d) reading of 100,000 miles or greater in operation for the first time as a licensed taxicab. Starting January 1, 2014, a licensee cannot place a vehicle with an odometer reading of 75,000 miles or greater in operation for the first time as a licensed taxicab. (e) Any vehicle which has ever been issued the title class of either "salvage", "rebuilt", "junk", "total loss", or any equivalent classification in any jurisdiction is not eligible for operation as a taxicab. (i) It is the affirmative duty of the licensee to ascertain that the taxicab vehicle is in compliance with this subsection. (ii) Any vehicle placed in operation by a licensee as a taxicab in violation of this subsection is unsafe for purposes of section of this Code, (iii) Any licensee that places a vehicle in operation as a taxicab in violation of this subsection is subject to immediate license suspension or revocation. (iv) The commissioner may by rule require licensees to submit a car history report at the licensee's expense. (f) The commissioner may by rule assert additional vehicle specifications that motor vehicles must meet before they can be approved as a taxicab and may by rule in conjunction with the Mayor's Office of People with Disabilities extend the amount of time that a wheelchair accessible vehicle may be in service. 32

33 Additional Accessibility Information Grants: Federal funds, known as New Freedom grants, give taxi companies the incentive to run an accessible cab service, for which start-up costs are high and profit potential is unproven. The grants have spurred companies to invest in the service in cities including Pensacola, Fla.; Mobile, Ala.; Houston; Coos Bay, Ore. and New Haven, Conn. In Washington, 20 accessible cabs are part of a $1.2 million pilot program, of which $1 million has been paid for by federal funds. In addition, there are tax incentives available to businesses to improve accessibility of their services. There is a tax credit of up to $5000 (Internal Revenue Code Section 44) and a tax deduction of up to $15,000 (Internal Revenue Code Section 190) per year. Availability and Quantity: Boston has approximately 12% of their fleet accessible. And, The Americans with Disabilities Act and Accessible Transportation: Challenges and Opportunities Report to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions by David M. Capozzi on November 17, 2011 states that As much as 10 percent of the customer base for taxi service consists of people with disabilities. ( In addition, a federal court ruled in a case involving New York City at the end of 2011 that cities must provide sufficient taxi service for people using wheelchairs meaningful access for the disabled to public transportation is not a utopian goal or political promise. It is a basic civil right. ( Vehicle Examples and Design: Some accessible taxi designs result in no extra space for additional passengers. The two best taxi designs that accommodate all of the elements listed, as well as additional companions, are: 33

34 MV-1 Accessibility Having the ability to enter and exit a mobility vehicle quickly and smoothly is one of your top priorities. So we made it one of our top priorities when developing the MV- 1. It was engineered for you using the principles of Universal Design, which allows for ease of accessibility regardless of your mobility situation or any disability you may have. With a deployable ramp capable of holding up to 1,200 lbs., a low step-in floor and extremely spacious entryway and interior, the MV-1 provides you with accessibility that is unmatched by any other wheelchair accessible van. Accessibility Features The integrated deployable ramp has a shallow ramp angle, an anti-slip surface, and is stored under the floor of the vehicle so you don't lose any interior space. The optional power ramp deploys at different aspect ratios to address various vehicle entry and exit scenarios. 36" by 56" doorway featuring low step-in that allows easy entry for all passengers. Best-in-class interior room, seating up to 6 comfortably. Passengers in wheelchairs or scooters can easily enter and turn effortlessly, so they can sit next to the driver. Commercial driver s seat for maximum operator comfort 34

35 Durability You can take comfort knowing the MV-1 was built like a truck: strong and dependable. From a reliable body-on-frame vehicle architecture to a smart suspension system, it is as durable as it is accessible. We designed the MV-1 with input from fleet owners and drivers, and then road tested it relentlessly in some of the most brutal conditions we could create. But we didn't simply focus on drivability. The deployable ramp, which allows you to enter and exit with ease, has been tested to the extreme through continuous deployment for months at a time. All of this testing ensures that it works every single time you need it. Durability Features A body-on-frame design: the MV-1's frame mounts to the body to create a rigid structure that supports the drivetrain. Fully boxed and tubed supportive cross members to provide additional frame stiffness and durability. Built like a truck, yet rides like a car: o Front Short Long Arm (SLA) suspension that provides a tight turning radius and a rack and pinion steering gear. o A de Dion rear suspension with steel leaf springs and air shocks to deliver an extremely comfortable ride for all passengers. Ford 4.6L 2V EFI V8 Engine. Ford Electronic 4-speed Automatic Transmission with Overdrive. The frame is coated with a rust inhibitor to increase longevity of the vehicle. Green Option The MV-1 proves you can be more mobile and more environmentally friendly. It is the only vehicle in its class with an available OEM engineered and assembled Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling system option. Because it's factoryinstalled, the MV-1 with CNG option gives you the same durability, reliability and quality that everyone demands from gasoline-powered vehicles. And, since natural gas is primarily a domestic resource, the CNG MV-1, with an estimated 290-mile range, is good for the environment and good for America. Now everyone can breathe easier. CNG Features Unique CNG fueling system option designed and factory-installed, not an aftermarket conversion. Estimated 290-mile CNG range (which includes a 40-mile low level indicator). Three Type-3 CNG tanks integrated seamlessly into the vehicle design and factoryinstalled. 35

36 Best-in-class luggage capacity (29.1 cubic feet) Gasoline Gallon Equivalent (GGE). VPG and Clean Energy VPG has a strategic partnership with Clean Energy to capitalize on its extensive experience with CNG and its fueling infrastructure. Clean Energy is the largest provider of CNG for fleets in North America and is continuing to expand its CNG fueling infrastructure throughout North America. Safety For your protection, safety features are integrated throughout the MV-1. Starting with the anti-slip surface which covers the ramp and interior floor to give wheelchairs and scooters increased grip. While on the road, the MV-1 has Electronic Stability Control (ESC) to keep your ride steady. With passive and active safety features, it offers unprecedented peace of mind for mobility vehicle passengers and drivers. The MV-1 meets all applicable U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS). Safety Features Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control reduces the chances of spinout or roll-over. 6:1 ramp slope (power ramp) for ease of wheelchair and scooter entry and exit. Anti-slip surface on the floor and ramp. Four wheel power-assisted anti-lock disc brakes (ABS). Unique side-entry ramp system that allows passengers to enter and exit away from street traffic. Integrated ramp system does not impede interior space or put passenger safety at risk. Multiple grab handles provide additional support and stability for all passengers. 10 universal floor tracks to secure wheelchairs and scooters. Flexible seatbelt location for wheelchairs and scooters. Fully boxed frame with high-strength steel reinforced front and rear bumpers and steel side-impact beams. Floor-to-ceiling height of nearly five feet to provide ample head room. Driver's side airbag and collapsible steering column to maximize driver protection. All-season tires. Daytime running lights. Tire-pressure monitoring system. Passive anti-theft system. Electronic cutoff switch to prevent driver from operating vehicle while ramp is deployed, and to prevent unintentional deployment while vehicle is in operation. The power ramp is equipped with a manual override if necessary. 36

37 Karsan This taxi was developed for the Taxi of Tomorrow competition in New York City. EXTERIOR FEATURES Unique and exciting styling exclusively for New York City. Wide and tall doors opening to 90 degrees for easy ingress and egress, especially useful when carrying packages, loading strollers, etc. Panoramic heat resistant and tinted glass sunroof with power sunshade, operable by both the passenger and driver. Large tinted windshield and side windows for optimum viewing. Rear and side OLED screens for advertising or communications. Roof top illuminated advertising panels. Front luggage compartment, for clean and easy loading. Unique right front door allows curbside floor level London Taxi style additional luggage space. Rear engine design to improve traction in inclement weather, which allows a low hood for improved driver vision. It also allows for the front luggage area to act as a crumple zone to improve safety. Pre-painted removable plastic body panels allows rapid repairs and the elimination of painting improves the environment as well. 37

38 High mounted headlights to allow improved lighting and protects the lights from expensive damage in a collision. Electrically powered wheelchair ramp with pop-up side rails for safety can be controlled by both passengers and driver that can be deployed from either side to allow curbside access. Rear seat also folds up for improved wheelchair access. Easy to read, bright LED overhead taxi roof sign with separate blue light indicating that the taxi is compliant with all Americans with Disability Act requirements, along with additional ADA logos on each rear door. Four emergency flashing lights, two each on front and rear. INTERIOR FEATURES Four passenger capacity includes one jump-seat, and wheelchair area. Low easy step up flat floor with no driveshaft tunnel or hump for exhaust system. Unique infotainment system, plug-in recharging ports, intercom for communication with the driver. Credit card and paper receipt printer located in the passenger compartment. Adjustable headrests (front and rear), reading lights, rear & side defogging, and "class leading" legroom with on-board storage for luggage, strollers, etc. Dedicated passenger compartment powerful heat & A/C system with pollen air filter and both ceiling & floor level outlets. Passengers have their own controls for temperature and fan speed. Driver has a comfortable and spacious environment, including telescopic steering wheel, refrigerator, large fold out table for his trip log notations, storage compartments, electrical charging ports, cup holders, high seating position for good viewing, lots of leg room, large overhead dome light, steering wheel mounted buttons for ramp operation, emergency lights, etc. Large easy to read gauges, speedometer, tachometer and fuel, with luminescent illumination and dual trip odometer. AM/FM/CD/MP3-compatible stereo and MDT Mobile Data Terminal (TV/Navigation/Map Data). Trip computer, maintenance reminder, ambient temperature and audio system information. Mobile POS PIN Pad for passengers use to control electronic equipment. Easy to clean, non-permeable upholstery and linoleum flooring similar to type used in buses and trains. SAFETY FEATURES Front airbag with seat belt use, weight position sensor, seat belt pretensioners with force limiters, height adjustable shoulder-belt anchors, side-impact airbag and air curtain. Rear passengers side air curtain and 3-point seat belts for all seated passengers. 38

39 LATCH child safety seat anchors & upper tethers, side-impact door beams (front & rear) Anti-lock brake system (ABS), electric stability program (ESP), and tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS.) Collapsible steering column assembly, driver panic button, and engineimmobilizer anti-theft system. Energy absorbing bumpers, superior visibility, and space frame design that provides for a uni-body structure that is both strong and light. 39

40 Taxicab Regulations in the News Compiled December 30, 2011 Provided for the Cincinnati Taxi Commission by 40