Ordinance Filed to Remove Barriers to Entering Taxicab Industry in Anchorage
Assembly Member Bill Evans introduces legislation to open up taxicab market
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA— Anchorage Assembly Member Bill Evans filed with the Anchorage Municipal Clerk’s Office a new ordinance to open up the taxicab market in order to improve transportation service for the public. The goal of the ordinance, according to Evans, is to remove unnecessary financial barriers and restrictions that limit entry into the taxicab industry.
Evans states that the goal of the ordinance is to bring market forces to bear on the supply of taxicab permits thereby increasing competition and improving service. This is particularly important for geographically distant areas such as Eagle River and Turnagain Arm which are historically underserved. The changes should also improve taxicab availability for peak usage periods such as bar break and provide for more abundant service to the disabled community.
The ordinance establishes a five-year phase-in period during which 116 new taxicab permits, including 16 wheelchair-accessible permits will be made available to qualified applicants via a lottery drawing. The cost of the permits will be fixed at $1,980 per permit (the current renewal cost for permits). After the five-year phase-in period, permits will be made available, at a fixed price, to any qualified applicant.
All safety regulations, both for vehicles and drivers, remain unchanged. The ordinance simply phases-out the government control on the number of permits which can be issued. “The taxicab industry should be an industry that is accessible to hard-working entrepreneurs who don’t necessarily have access to a hundred-thousand dollars to obtain a permit via an auction,” Evans states.
The ordinance will be introduced at the Anchorage Assembly’s meeting on October 4 but will not be set for public hearing and Assembly action for several weeks while an Assembly Committee analyzes the ordinance and seeks public input.
Click here for the AO 2016-124 Taxicab Competitive Market Initiative. For more information, please contact Assembly Member Bill Evans at (907) 250-5490.
Assembly Member Bill Evans was elected in 2014 and serves the South Anchorage & Girdwood areas. He is the chair of the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee and Homelessness Committee. His wife and three children arrived in Alaska in 1998, after his service in the United States Army as a paratrooper and as a police officer in Ohio. Bill formerly served on the Municipal Transportation Commission.