Lawrence considering criminal background checks for taxi drivers
A majority of city commissioners expressed interest in adding the background check to a new city ordinance that will govern taxi cab operators.
A majority of city commissioners expressed interest in adding the background check to a new city ordinance that will govern taxi drivers.
City commissioners stopped short of approving the ordinance at their regular weekly meeting Tuesday. Instead they referred the ordinance back to staff members for more research on additional issues. A representative with Ground Transportation Services, one of the larger taxi cab companies in Lawrence, asked the city to consider provisions that would require cab companies to be of a certain size before they could receive a city license. The company recommended cab companies have at least two vehicles in operation. The company also asked that cab companies be required to have a commercial place of business and operate a certain number of hours per week.
“This is not to stifle competition,” said Tim Riling, an attorney for Ground Transportation Services. “It is to ensure that people operating a taxi cab business are serious about it and are accountable. If we just allow one person who has a car, a cellphone and a house, that is basically everyone.”
Commissioners said they wanted more information on what other communities do in regard to regulating the size of taxi companies. The item is expected to come back for further discussion in the next several weeks.
The new ordinance would allow the city to deny a taxi drivers license to any person who has any of the following convictions within the past five years: a felony; crime of dishonesty; crime against a person; driving under the influence; or driving with a suspended license. Anyone who has an outstanding warrant also would be denied a license.