El Paso

City of El Paso proposing changes to shuttle, taxi cab services

Proposed amendments to shuttle & taxi cab services

New look for taxi and shuttle drivers

El Paso, Texas - Changes could be coming to the appearances of Borderland shuttles and taxi cabs, including a change to how taxi and shuttle drivers are dressed.

El Paso City Council is addressing some concerns that have come from the El Paso International Airport.  The number one problem being that passengers don't know which vehicles are part of a cab or shuttle service.

The proposed amendments would require vehicles to have the company name and phone number painted or permanently affixed on both sides of the vehicle.

The ordinance also requires drivers to be properly dressed.  That part of the amendment raised concerns from some city council members.

During a council meeting Monday, City Representative Alexander Anello criticized the dress code proposal. "Can we tell someone, 'no you can't have blue hair.' It's like you're in high school again," she said.

El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said the city wants professionalism, but how exactly it will be enforced is still unknown. 

The proposed amendment only states that drivers must be well groomed, they can't wear distractive clothing and the clothing can't have any rips or tears.

The vehicles must also not have any trash inside, it must be free of any offensive odors and floor mats must be kept clean.

Representatives from El Paso cab and shuttle companies were on hand for Monday's City Council meeting. Shelly Callaghan is with Andale Ride, she doesn't believe it will work and that companies are struggling enough as it is.

"This ordinance, as it's proposed, is not enforceable," Callaghan said. "It's not sustainable and it is going to affect people who have already been greatly damaged by the first rewrite of this ordinance."

Victor Zarur, with the El Paso Police Department, said it is a matter of safety. "What we're trying to do is make sure that our citizens, when they come out of the airport or any other area of the city of El Paso, that they know that they are in fact getting into a taxi vehicle," Zarur said.

Some of the other amendments include companies giving their list of drivers to the chief of police every month and the company's design must also be approved by the chief of police.

City Council is expected to vote on the proposed changes in two weeks.

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