Greater Lansing Taxi Authority Expanding

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Friday, June 26, 2015, 7:52 am
By: 
Paige Filice

East Lansing City Council approved an amendment to the Greater Lansing Taxi Authority (GLTA) Partnership Agreement to add four townships and MSU to the Authority. The new townships include Delhi, Delta, Meridian, and Lansing; MSU will be added to GLTA as a non-voting member.

In September 2014 GLTA was created with the purpose of engaging in a uniform and regional regulatory structure for taxi companies and drivers, with the ultimate goal of ensuring the safety of Greater Lansing residents and visitors. If approved, the GLTA will serve approximately 270,000 people and encompass the entire metro area of Greater Lansing.

“With the incorporation of the four townships and MSU, taxi cab drivers will now serve the entire region—which we are hoping will lead to an increase in service to underserved areas, as well as a more professional fleet for the entire Greater Lansing region,” said East Lansing City Clerk Marie Wicks.

Currently some taxi cab services do not serve the City of East Lansing due to stricter requirements, including background checks and drug testing. With the expansion of GLTA all taxi cab services will be required to follow the same rules and regulations, and the process for cab drivers to get registered will be shorter and more seamless, eliminating issues of inconsistency between Lansing and East Lansing. There are currently twelve taxi companies operating in the City of Lansing that are not licensed in East Lansing.

It is likely there will be fewer taxi cab companies in the region, due to the requirement of a 3 car minimum, but the number of cabs available is expected to increase, according to Wicks. Uber, a ride-sharing service connecting drivers to customers through a smartphone app, will remain un-regulated by GLTA. Uber has a separate agreement with the State of Michigan for compliance and regulation.

The amended Partnership Agreement will now move to the Lansing City Council for its approval. Following approval, all jurisdictions will be required to repeal their current ordinances and adopt the new regulation created by GLTA.

The newly expanded GLTA, if approved, would go into effect as early as September 2015. The GLTA has yet to establish an enforcement date and is considering providing a time frame of compliance for taxi companies not currently licensed in the City of East Lansing.

A draft of the GLTA Operating Rules and Regulations approved at the June 3, 2015 East Lansing City Council meeting is available for public review and comment through July 6, 2015. A copy of the materials is available at: http://www.cityofeastlansing.com/1550/Greater-Lansing-Taxi-Authority. Comments can also be submitted to East Lansing City Clerk Marie Wicks at mwicks@cityofeastlansing.com or by mail/in person: Office of the East Lansing City Clerk, 410 Abbot Road, East Lansing, MI. 

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