A change in vehicle for hire regulations at the state level is prompting Wichita Falls to amend their code of ordinances.
In November 2016, the city changed the code to allow transportation network companies (app-based ride-share businesses like Tride) to operate in the city.
Texas House Bill 100 was signed into law May 29 and portions of this law will affect how ride-hailing companies are regulated. The new law requires ride-hailing companies to be permitted through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. This process includes an annual $5,000 fee to operate in the state.
The state-level regulation is prompting the city to amend Chapter 10 of the city’s code to remove any conflicting language.
Ride-share companies, such as Uber and Lyft, have left large cities, including Austin, Corpus Christi and Houston, over what they deemed overly burdensome local regulation. The state-regulated system will require the companies to perform local, state and national background checks, but will not require drivers to be fingerprinted.
Tacked onto the state bill was a controversial amendment defining “sex” as the “physical condition of being male or female.”The state law overrules any local regulating for ride-share programs.