by Andrew Crisp
During the Tuesday, May 8, meeting, the Boise City Council will consider revisions to a proposed ordinance that would alter how taxi cabs operate in the city. Boise Weekly rode shotgun back in January to gauge the reactions of taxi drivers.
While the original proposal suggested a five-year age limit on new vehicles brought into taxi fleets, the new version extends that to a seven-year age limit, with vehicles closer to 10 years of age eligible for an exemption. Classic vehicles, wheelchair accessible vehicles and clean fuel automobiles make up other exemptions.
A new component also limits a requirement for criminal background checks of all taxicab company employees. Now, company owners and shareholders are exempt, while criminal background checks will be required only of taxicab business applicants and operators.
However, some key components remain unchanged, like the requirement that debit and credit cards be accepted in vehicles, and that all drivers demonstrate the ability to speak English.
According to the City Clerk's Office, there are currently 70 licensed taxi companies in Boise with a total of 154 cabs.
The city can address the revisions, or suggest more when they take up the ordinance on Tuesday. There will be no additional public hearing on the ordinance, but written comments will be accepted through the City Council.