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Meeting Date: 12/04/2014  
Subject:    CONSIDER a report on the status of implementing a taxicab permitting process in unincorporated Contra Costa County.
Submitted For: David Twa, County Administrator
Department: County Administrator  
Referral No.: 18  
Referral Name: MONITOR issues of interest in the provision of general transportation services, including but not limited to public transportation and taxicab services.
Presenter: Tim Ewell, Senior Deputy County Administrator Contact: Tim Ewell (925)335-1036

Referral History:

On September 5, 2013, the Transportation, Water and Infrastructure Committee received a staff report regarding the status of a regulatory structure for taxicab permitting within the unincorporated area, pursuant to Government Code § 53075.5. At that time, the Committee directed staff to work with the County Administrator’s Office (CAO) to:

1. Obtain advice from County Counsel regarding the County’s potential risk and exposure for not having a taxicab permitting ordinance or resolution pursuant to the California Code.

2. Coordinate with the Office of the Sheriff to identify resources and develop a budget for codifying and administrating a taxicab permitting ordinance or resolution.

On June 5, 2014, the County Administrator’s Office returned to the Committee with a framework for the implementation of a taxicab ordinance in unincorporated areas of Contra Costa County. The implementation frame work, including roles of County departments, is summarized below:

I. Issues general business license to taxi companies operating in the unincorporated area.

II. Notifies applicants of the need to acquire a taxicab permit in jurisdiction where business is located.

I. Issues Permits to new taxicab operators and businesses located in the County unincorporated area.

a. Applicant provides valid business license to operate in the unincorporated area.

b. Sheriff facilitates referrals for the California Department of Justice Live Scan and drug testing for permit applicants with businesses established in the unincorporated area, at cost of the applicant.

c. Applicant provides proof of taxicab vehicle inspection conducted by private entity at time of application for a permit, at cost of the applicant.

d. Sheriff to establish a fee for reviewing new applications and annual renewals as part of the Taxicab ordinance.

II. Existing taxicab operators and businesses permitted in other jurisdictions within Contra Costa County doing business in an unincorporated area.

a. Ordinance to allow a permit from any other jurisdiction within Contra Costa County to operate a taxicab to be accepted with no further action required by Sheriff’s Office.

b. Business owner are still responsible for acquiring a business license to operate in the unincorporated area from Treasurer Tax Collector.

Referral Update:
At the June 5, 2014 meeting, the Committee approved the implementation framework and directed staff to work with County Counsel to draft the Ordinance for review by the Committee. Shortly following the meeting, the Contra Costa County Police Chief’s Association discussed at a regular meeting, the notion of a regional taxicab cooperative.

On October 23, 2014, the County Administrator’s Office and Sheriff’s Office met with the Concord Police Chief and staff to explore options for implementing a regional taxicab cooperative with the intention of reporting back to the Committee with options and requesting direction.

Since that time, the Contra Costa County Local Government Leadership Academy, sponsored by the Contra Costa County Public Manager’s Association and local jurisdictions, received a submission from the City of Walnut Creek (Attachment A) to explore, as a project for Academy participants, the implementation of a regional taxicab permitting program. The project duration is from January through July 2015.

In light of the developments since the June 5, 2014 TWIC meeting, staff is recommending that the Committee table further discussion about implementing a taxicab permitting regime for the unincorporated area until the results of the Academy project is complete and an analysis by County and municipal stakeholders is completed to assess the viability of a regional approach.

Recommendation(s)/Next Step(s):

I. ACCEPT a report on the status of implementing a taxicab permitting process in unincorporated Contra Costa County.

II. PROVIDE feedback to staff as to how to move forward.

Attachment A

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