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Access taxi sub 4 17 summary of recommendations

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Access taxi sub 4 17 summary of recommendations

  1. 1. SummaryofRecommendationsAccessible Taxi SubcommitteeApril 18,20131. Background andRecommendationstoEnsureGoodOversight:a. AtlantaPoliceDepartmentVFH Sectionissupportedthroughfeesimposedonvehiclesfor hire.Feerevenuegenerates approximately$300,000inthemostrecentyear.Actualcostsfor the VFHSectiontoregulatevehiclesfor hireareabout$1,400,000forthatyear, accordingtothe City.Thisrepresentsashortfall ofrevenuesunderexpendituresof some$1,100,000.This means thatfeesimposed onvehiclesfor hire arenotcoveringthe costofdoingtheVFHenforcement functionwithintheCity. Thus,Citytaxpayersanditscitizensaresubsidizingthis functionof Atlantacitygovernmentthrough their property taxdollars.TheCityshouldlevyfeesauthorizedtobeimposed intheTaxi Ordinanceinsuchan amounttocoverthecostsofperformingthis functionof Citygovernment,andnothavegeneral City taxpayerssubsidizingthis armof government–whichbenefitsmanynon-residents oravery smallportionofcityresidentswhorideinvehiclesforhire, whoshouldbear the burden ofpayingforthis functionofCitygovernment.To builda strongtaxicab/VFHindustry,toimpose stronger standardsonitsoperation, toimproveitsservice standardsand to ensure adequatepolicingof the industry,theAccessible TaxiSubcommitteerecommendsthat:Allfees,fines,orotherrevenue-producingcomponents oftheTaxicabOrdinanceshouldbeincreasedtoalevelwhich is four(4)timestheircurrentlevel, toensure that fees chargedaresufficient tocovertheoperatingcoststoregulatetheVFHoperationsandstaffingneedsofgovernment. Thislevelofincreasewillcovertheexistingshortfallbetweenrevenuesraisedthroughthis functionofCitygovernmentandthecostofitsbeingperformed.[This recommendationaimsatraising revenuessufficient to go from$300,000to$1.4million,aboutafourfoldincrease infunds raised.Ifdeemed politically necessary, feescouldbeincreasedforatwo yearperiod to gaugeitsimpact, with anadjustmentmadeaftersufficientexperience isgained to determinethe level necessary tocoverVFHoperatingcosts.]b.Whenfees,finesand otherrevenuesareincreasedtocovertheshortfalldescribedabove,properprotectionneedstobeprovided todriversorlesseesofcabs fortaxicompanies whichwillbeinitiallychargedwithincreaseswhentheyareimplemented.Simplypassingonincreasedfeesthroughhigherleasingfeessolelytodrivers isnotwarranted.
  2. 2. Tofurtherthisend, theCityandtheordinancerevisions toincreasefeesandfines should“grandfather” existingcharges imposedforincreased fees andfines topreventunjustenrichmentofcompaniesattheexpenseof drivers. The “grandfather”provisionsshouldextend for atleastatwoyear period, especiallyif an adjustment tofeesandfines levelsis deemed appropriateasdiscussed insubsection(a)above.Moreover, Taxi Companieswillbenefitfromenhancedservicestandards, newervehicles,andother incentivesprovided inotherways in theOrdinancerevisions tojustify this“grandfathering”of feescharged. Everyeffortshouldbe madeto ensurethatthereis no“hiking”offees by companiesinadvanceofthe effective dateofthe Ordinancerevisionsinanticipationofthe increasedfees.c. The Cityshouldencouragethe MARTA Boardtoconsiderimplementingprogramssimilartothosein manyareasof thecountrywherebytransit agenciesenterintocooperativepartnershipswithprivatetaxi companies tohelpprovideparatransit service withthe transit system. ExistingmodelsexistinSanAntonio,DenverandChicago,withmany otherstolook tofor guidance.These partnershipmodelshaveservedtoimprovecustomerservicetothedisabilitycommunity,savetax dollars,andfrequentlystrengthenthelocal taxi industrywheretheyareimplemented.2. Providing a FundingSourcetohelpTaxi Owners getaccess tocapital toBuyAccessible Taxis:a. A revolving loanprogramtoprovidecash totaxi cab ownersfor purchasing accessibletaxicabsshouldbeestablished.Itwouldbe capitalizedasdiscussed below.b.The Cityof Atlanta wouldsell 10 of thecurrently 49 unsoldCPNCs remainingin its inventoryatopenly-advertised,public auction.c. Therevenuesfromthis sale(totalvalue@$60,000estimated marketvalue/perCPNC =$600,000)shouldbeused to establishaseparate“AccessibleTaxi RevolvingLoanFund”fortaxiowners todrawupontohelpthempurchaseaccessibletaxis.Todrawuponthefund,vehiclesmustmeetnationallyrecognized standards foraccessibletaxicabs, andwouldberequiredtobe inspectedbytheCityVFHSectiontoensurethatfunds loaned arebeingusedfor properaccessiblevehicles.d.Maximumloansof$10,000- $12,000/pervehicleshouldbe madeavailable fromthis Fundwithadedicatedusefor theFundsolelyforenablingmoreaccessibletaxis tobeputinservice. This fundshall notbeused for anyother Cityof Atlantabudgetpurpose.e. Proceedsfromrepaymentof loans shallgobackto thetrustfundandnotthe City’s GeneralFund.
  3. 3. 3. ProvidinganOngoing AdvisoryFunctiontoAssess Progress onAccessible Taxi Availability:a. The Cityshouldestablishona permanentbasisan“AccessibleTaxi AdvisoryCommittee” totheVFHSection,tobecomposedof disabilityrepresentatives, taxiowners,onedesignatedMARTArepresentativeas designatedbytheGeneralManager/CEO,andVFHstafftomonitor progress towardmeetingthegoals (1)setforthintheTaxiOrdinanceoftheCityofAtlanta as regards accessibletaxis,and(2)anytaxipartneringactivitybetweentheCityandMARTA.b.Thereshallbe nomorethannine(9) totalmembers oftheAdvisoryCommittee.c. The chairofthe AdvisoryCommitteeshallbeadisabilityrepresentativewhoservesontheCommittee,andthecommitteeshallatleastquarterlyandannuallyreportto theMayor andCityCouncilonitswork andmakerecommendationstotheMayor andCityCouncilstemmingfromit.4. Taxi OrdinanceLanguageRecommendations:a. A fixednumberand percentageof the companytaxi fleetinAtlanta shall beaccessible.b.Authorized lifeofaccessible taxisshall be 10years beforetheymustbetaken outof service,thus givingan added2yearmaximumstreetlifeforthesevehicles.c. Staged accessiblecab requirementsshall bestated intheOrdinanceas followsfortaxicompanieswith25cabsormoreintheir business:- By2014, 10%of fleetor3cabs in service- By2015, 20%of fleetor5cabs in service- By2016, 30%of fleetor8cabs in service- ByJanuary1,2017, if accessible requirementssetforthabovearenotmet,the companyshallloseitsoperatingpermit.d.Accessiblecabsmust meetrecognized national accessible standards, andbeinspectedbytheCitypriortobeingputintoserviceand/or authorizedfor participationinthe loanprogram.e. Driversmustpass acourse developed andapproved bya competentnationally-recognizeddisabilityagencybeforebeingallowedtodriveaccessible vehicles.f. Accessiblecabswould gotothefrontof thelineattheATLAirportandat hotelandsportingvenues.
  4. 4. g.Accessibletaxistands clearlymarkedas suchshallbeplaced throughouttheCity.h.Whentherecommended annual licensefees(andpenalties)forallcabs areimposed ascalled forin1(a) above,accessiblecabfeeandpenaltylevelswill bereducedto½thelevelestablishedintheOrdinance.DRAFTAccessTaxiSubcommJK/4-17-13

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