San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said Wednesday the city will continue to enforce its rules regulating ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber, while his department spends the next 30 days researching how other cities have dealt with these companies as they enter the vehicle-for-hire market.
His comments, at a City Council Public Safety Committee meeting, were met with applause from the scores of members of the taxi and limo industry who crowded the room to oppose ride-sharing companies' continued operations.
Earlier in the meeting, dozens of them spoke, urging the city to enforce its vehicle-for-hire ordinance, which currently does not allow ride-sharing services to operate.
McManus agreed to come back to the committee with an update next month.
Lyft and Uber both started operations in San Antonio within the last two weeks. Both systems connect passengers to drivers via smart phone apps, eliminating the need to phone a dispatcher or physically hail a taxi.
McManus sent Lyft a cease and desist letter last week. Two days later, Mayor Julián Castro said he believed the city could come to some kind of compromise with the companies and said the current vehicle-for-hire ordinance may need updating to accommodate them.
Although the companies refer to themselves as ride-sharing businesses, McManus said they are not, instead calling them transportation network companies. That term has been used in California where the industry has been more regulated.
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