Long Beach Relaxes Taxi Regulations to Level the Playing Field

Instead of imposing regulations on transportation network companies, Long Beach went a different way: the city eased regulations on taxi companies.
May 20, 2015, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Long Beach officials are pursuing a new strategy to resolve the growing rift between taxi drivers and ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, becoming the nation's first large city to relax restrictions on cabs, rather than increase regulation of their new competitors," reports Laura J. Nelson.

According to Nelson, the changes allowed by the city include overhauls of the look and feel of taxi service: "In addition to a new name (Yellow Long Beach) and a new Uber-like app (Ride Yellow), Long Beach Yellow Cab will repaint its traditional mustard-colored taxis a more vivid lemon."

Nelson notes that Long Beach is ideally suited to innovate the regulation of taxi service, given the city's large size (but relatively small taxi fleet compared to Los Angeles, just up the road) and bustling convention and tourism industry.

The more relaxed regulations follow a year of decline in business for taxis in Long Beach, faced with competition from transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. Nelson's article includes a lot more details about what makes the city's new regulations groundbreaking, especially as compared to other cities around the region, state, and country.

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Published on Thursday, May 14, 2015 in Los Angeles Times
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