Taxi cab companies operating in West Hollywood, faced with major competition from services such as Uber and Lyft, scored a reduction in the fees they pay at the City Council meeting last night.
The city currently has awarded franchises to seven taxi companies to operate in West Hollywood with a total of 569 approved taxis. A city staff report recommending the reduction cited a story in the Los Angeles Times that reported there has been a 40% decline in taxi trips over the past three years with the entry of Uber and Lyft into the market.
A study commissioned by the city suggests that such “transportation network companies” (TNCs) are responsible for more than 78% of taxi trips in West Hollywood.
The staff report said representatives from the franchised taxi companies approached the City Council and city staffers with a request to reduce some of the fees. The taxi franchises also are donor to re-election campaigns for members of the City Council, which hasn’t acted on recommendations that its members not take money from city vendors or contractors.
The reduction in various fees approved by the council amounts to 36% for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, or a reduction of $261,796 in revenue to the city. The current fee is $1,215 per taxicab and the new fee is $778 per cab.