MOTION: The taxicab industry provides a vital mobility service in Los Angeles. For business travelers and
tourists, taxis provide connections between hotels, the airport, and regional destinations. For seniors,
low-income residents, and people with disabilities, taxis provide essential transportation to medical
appointments, employment, and services. Since 2017, the City of Los Angeles has worked to update its
outdated taxicab franchise system and replace it with a modern regulatory system that better meets The
public's mobility needs and supports a healthier industry.
A report from the UCLA Labor Center reinforces the need for urgent intervention by the City to
support the taxi industry, and more specifically to ensure a living wage for drivers. The report details in
stark terms the decimating impact of competition from Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like
Uber and Lyft, as well as more recent losses from COVID's impact on the travel industry. In particular,
State regulation of TNCs has created a "race to the bottom" for taxi drivers that is not sustainable while
preempting tools that the City could otherwise use to guarantee a living wage. According to the report,
some studies show that taxicab drivers now earn less than the $15 per hour minimum wage after
expenses. The status quo of declining ridership and declining income has caused a greater than 60 percent
reduction in the number of taxi drivers over the last decade-ultimately impacting the public 's access to
In response to these pressures on the industry, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation
(LADOT) has proposed a comprehensive new regulatory system designed to provide better service to the
public and win back market share with a more competitive taxi industry (CF# 1 0-0996-S l ). These
reforms are largely consistent with the taxicab industry-supported AB 1069 (Low), now codified in
Government Code 53075.5, which aims for a streamlined regulatory system that increases taxicab
company independence and improves interoperability across jurisdictions. However, this same law limits
the City's ability to set minimum rates, blocking the most direct tool for ensuring driver income. The City
must instead work toward that goal with the tools that are available to it: data transparency, oversight, and
promotion of the industry.
In effect, the new regulatory system will relaunch the taxicab industry in Los Angeles. This new
system will feature new technology, better customer service, more reliable experiences, greater flexibility
for the industry, and stronger overnight. LADOT should take the opportunity to help the industry
reintroduce itself to the public with a Taxi Action Plan that goes beyond just implementing new
regulations and includes affirmative steps to support customers, support drivers, and support the industry
as a whole. Working together, LADOT and the industry can offer a competitive and attractive mobility
option that creates good jobs and advances the City's equity and environmental goals.
WE THEREFORE MOVE that the City Council direct the Los Angeles Department of
Transportation (LADOT) to report in 90 days with a Taxi Action Plan that includes at least the following:
1. A public education campaign, including resources needed and available, to promote the use of
taxicabs, including how to request a ride via mobile app, and promotion of enrollment in existing
taxicab subsidy programs, such as LADOT's City Ride program.
2. Criteria for the expansion of taxicab stands at regional destinations, including projected demand
and input from industry.
3. An update on implementation of regional permitting, as provided by AB 1069 (Low), including
any additional steps needed to encourage participation by other jurisdictions in Los Angeles
4. A proposed scope of services and resources needed for program evaluation that includes a study
of driver income using new data received via LL\.DOT's Mobility Data Specification API, to be
completed 15 months after program launch.
WE FURTHER MOVE that the City Council request the Board of Taxicab Commissioners in
conjunction with LADOT to, within 120 days:
1. Consider the adoption of a rule that would set a program-wide maximum fleet size of no greater
than 20,000. Future increases of this maximum fleet size shall require findings based on customer
wait times, vehicle utilization, and driver income.
2. Consider the adoption of a rule that would set a minimum rate for app-based trip requests. This
rate shall be based on a calculation of driver take-home pay that guarantees a driver shall earn at
least the City's minimum wage for the time engaged in transporting a passenger, after expenses
and before tips.