UBER Business Model Illegal Under Houston LIMO ORDINANCE 46-240
TO: David Feldman
Houston City Attorney
Alfred Moran, Director
Administration and Regulatory Affairs (ARA)
City of Houston
CC: Mayor Annise Parker
All Members, Houston City Council
The UBER Business Model is a smartphone (iphone/android) APP that dispatches specific limousines
from the UBER website to vehicles in the field. The State of California, and other jurisdictions have determined that UBER is an actual transportation company, not just an APP or referral service, and as such is subject to the laws and regulations that apply to all transportation companies.
Using these clear legal precedents, it would impinge on UBER to be in compliance with all Sections of the Chapter 46 Limousine ordinance of the City of Houston.
SPECIFICALLY, SECTION 46-240:
(a) A written or electronic vehicle rental agreement shall be entered into by the permittee and any PERSON (A corporation is a person under the law) renting or leasing any chauffeured limousine. All vehicle rental agreements shall include, among other things: the name(s) of the permittee and the name of the assigned licensee; the name(s) of the passenger(s); the date and time of hiring; the scheduled pickup and dropoff addresses or locations; the date and time of release of the vehicle; and the rates applicable to the vehicle. In addition to the forgoing information, all vehicle rental agreements for service originating at city airports shall also include the airline name, flight number, and scheduled date and time of arrival. A copy of the vehicle rental agreement shall be delivered to the renting or leasing party at the time the vehicle is released or, if a monthly statement is sub- mitted, at that time.
A COMPLETED COPY OF THE BILL SUBMITTED SHOWING THE TOTAL FARE CHARGED AND RECEIVED SHALL BE RETAINED BY PERMITTEE FOR A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS FROM THE DATE OF CONTRACT. UPON REQUEST, THE PERMITTEE SHALL MAKE AVAILABLE TO THE DIRECTOR OR HIS DESIGNATED AGENT COMPLETED COPIES OF THE VEHICLE RENTAL AGREEMENTS RETAINED WITHIN THE TWO YEAR PERIOD.
1) The UBER Limo dispatching APP, while some marvel at its efficiency and call it a “Cutting Edge IT modern miracle”, it is actually quite primitive and not capable of retaining the information required in Section 46-240.
The UBER APP is also not capable of doing a pre-arranged trip. (Yellow Cab’s HAILACAB APP can do a pre-arranged).
2) UBER has consistently refused requests from drivers for monthly, quarterly and annual audit reports, for reasons unknown.
3) UBER has a legitimate legal right to protection of its proprietary intellectual web design, but those rights are subordinate to legal reporting requirements.
4) SHOULD UBER REQUEST AN APPROVAL TO OPERATE ON THE STREETS OF HOUSTON, IT SHOULD BE REQUIRED THAT:
A. UBER collect and retain all information required in Section 46-240
B. That UBER, existing only in cyberspace, be mandated to provide that
information to IT technicians and inspectors from the City Attorneys Office and the Director of the ARA in the following manner:
1] That any information requested be available in real time online, 24/7/365 by Houston IT Inspectors.
2] That in order to facilitate such inquiries, those inspectors be granted unfettered access to the UBER website source codes and alogarithm matrices with full C-Level Corporate Officer- status ID, passwords, pin codes and a back door to the UBER encryption software.
3] In order for UBER to comply with the above, UBER would also have to re-configure its website to protect customers from inadvertent disclosure of personal credit card information which is one of the few items of data UBER does retain.
Any breach of credit card data would be a flagrant violation of Processing Card Industry (PCI) Regulations. If UBER did not implement adequate precautions,
the citizens of Houston could be exposed to massive losses similar to the recent
Target Stores breach involving 40 million people nationwide. The Houston City Council has a mandate to serve and protect the citizens of Houston and the ARA would have to oversee any “Fishing Expedition” excursions into the UBER website by inspectors.
A situation as described below must be avoided at all costs:(Target Debacle)
SHOULD UBER REFUSE TO COMPLY WITH ITEM 4) (Above), UBER’s REQUEST TO OPERATE LIMOS ON THE STREETS OF HOUSTON SHOULD BE DENIED WITH PREJUDICE AND REQUESTS FOR RE-APPLICATIONS SHOULD ALSO BE DENIED.
Joe L. Jordan, President
Houston Limousine Operators Networking Group
14173 Northwest Freeway #166
Houston TX 77040