Honolulu Passes Bill to Cap Uber, Lyft Surge Prices


 Amid a packed council chamber Wednesday, Honolulu’s city council passed Bill 35 which puts a cap on ridesharing fares charged by transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft. The Honolulu City Council’s 6-to-3 vote will now move over to the mayor’s office, giving Mayor Kirk Caldwell 10 days to sign the bill into law, veto the bill, or allow it to become law without his signature.  Constituents voiced their opposition and support for the bill during its third reading, which lasted more than an hour. Those in attendendance included taxi drivers, toting signs calling for “equal rights for taxi drivers,” TNC drivers and TNC riders.  Should the bill become law, Honolulu’s director of customer services will be tasked with establishing a cap on TNC fares above the current taximeter rate and the certain requirements needed to avoid abiding by that cap. The task of setting a cap will be extremely difficult to determine and implement, according to the agency’s deputy director, Randy Leong. Crunching the Numbers Leong repeatedly told council members, “the department is in opposition to setting a maximum fare.”  He explained consumers can see the price of the fare before they choose to accept a TNC ride…

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