TKC BREAKING AND EXCLUSIVE NEWS!!! CHARITY RIDES OR MORE GYPSY CABS COMING SOON TO COWTOWN STREETS?!?! CONTROVERSY ERUPTS OVER PROPOSED CHANGES TO KANSAS CITY TAXICAB CODE!!!
Right now KICK-ASS TKC TIPSTERS are breaking the biggest news out there when it comes to real world transit talk in Kansas City.
BIG CHANGES PROPOSED FOR KANSAS CITY'S TAXICAB CODE ARE CREATING CONTROVERSY BEHIND THE SCENES!!!
Once again we're seeing yet another Kansas City hot debate betwixt regulation/safety/free market concerns.
Here's the sitch, check this upcoming ordinance that doesn't seem too out of line on the surface of things:
Ordinance #140028: Amending Chapter 76 Article II, Taxicab Code, by enacting five new sections which will allow a charitable non-profit transportation vehicle to operate within the City of Kansas City, Missouri, revising the definitions and renumbering of ordinances.
Sounds reasonable enough but KICK-ASS TKC TIPSTERS tells us that Kansas City Transit honcho Bill George is attempting to kill this legislation.
On the other side of the equation . . . We here that the prime mover of the City Hall ordinance is this group: www.itngreaterkansascity.org.
This group is part of a national organization that seems mostly focused on transit for seniors and a somewhat white hat biz model.
We were able to get a hold of Bill George this morning and here's what he started with . . .
"If a church group or any volunteer group wants to provide transit for their members, we have absolutely no problem with it. The difference is that this group is charging people. Look at their website and check their rates. They're in the transportation for hire busienss. They need to follow the same rules we all do or else the City just needs to scrap Chapter 76."
Moreover . . .
TKC EXCLUSIVE: WE HEAR THIS GROUP HAS ALREADY EARNED A SWEET $100K FROM MARC!!!
TKC Reminder . . . The Mid-America Regional Council pretty much decides every civic issue before it gets put on any ballot.
Here's the money line and the real nightmare scenario for Bill George:
"The way they have written this ordinance. Any church group or any not for profit group can decide that they're going to be in the cab business and start doing airport trips and everything else. The city prohibits that now for a lot of good reasons. When City Council tries to carve out something for a special interest, it usually backfires on them and that will certainly happen in this situation."
And so . . .
LOOK FOR FIREWORKS THIS WEEK AT CITY HALL AS KANSAS CITY TRANSIT HONCHO BILL GEORGE ATTEMPTS TO KILL THIS ORDINANCE!!!
First reading is this Thursday in front of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Check this EXCLUSIVE STATEMENT that has been sent far and wide from Bill George attempting to dissuade Kansas City decision makers from pulling the trigger on this aspect of the muni-code:
Re: iTN Kansas City
Members of the Regulated Industries staff and the Taxicab Industry:
Due to an out-of-town meeting, KCTG representatives will not be able to attend the Quarterly meeting on October 3, 2013. However, we wanted to voice our extreme opposition to the proposed ordinance change regarding the Charitable Non-Profit transportation classification.
This proposed ordinance is being introduced at the request of a company called iTN Kansas City. This is an affiliate of a national company that generates millions of dollars in for-hire transportation trips in many other cities. Their business model is to charge their customers an annual membership fee, plus a per trip fee based on mileage or zones. They advertise that they offer this service for less than a taxicab.
Many members of our industry have met with iTN representatives and discussed their business model. For your convenience we have attached two documents that were provided directly by iTN. The first page shows iTN’s average trip information. They list their average length of ride at 4.97 miles, with an average fare of $10.89 per trip. The second page shows iTN Kansas City’s financial projections. You will notice that iTN Kansas City estimates they will be generating more than $445,000 annually in revenue from passenger trip fees in Kansas City. These aren’t our projections, these come directly from iTN.
In our view, there should be one very simple question to determine whether or not a vehicle should fall under the jurisdiction of Chapter 76 – Is the transportation being provided in exchange for a fee? If the answer is YES, Chapter 76 should apply. When transportation is being provided for a fee, there should be no exceptions whatsoever that allow a company to claim “charitable” or “non-profit” status that exempts them from the licensing requirements and fees applicable under Chapter 76.
We have absolutely no issue with community organizations that provide free transportation utilizing volunteers. We do not believe those types of services should fall under Chapter 76, the “for-hire” transportation ordinance. However, iTN is choosing to enter the Kansas City “for-hire” transportation business. We have no issues with the additional competition they can provide. However, we are adamantly opposed to the idea that they should receive a special classification that exempts them from all KCMO permit fees, inspection fees, driver permit fees, insurance requirements, operating standards, etc.
We encourage each of you to examine the facts and support this position.
Kansas City Transportation Group
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