Sunday, July 11, 2010

Houston vs. the Ibarra brothers....

Round two.

(Will the City’s New Jitney Rules Cut Out the Little Electric Guys?, Swamplot)
ELECTRIC-SHUTTLE entrepreneur Erik Ibarra is worried about a new draft ordinance— due to be discussed by a city transportation committee on Tuesday and voted on by city council later this month — that he says raises the required minimum capacity for jitneys from 4 to 9 passengers. (The new provision appears to have been included at the request of taxi companies.)

This is nothing new in Houston, where Yellow cab normally gets what Yellow Cab wants especially when faced with someone who's figured out a way to move Houstonians in a cheaper, more efficient way than they. They have much influence and deep pockets w/City Hall so expect them to have some success in getting this, rather arbitrary, restriction passed.

That being said, the Ibarra brothers have a history of history of winning legal battles with local organizations, the money from the first settlement providing seed money for GoRevGo, so I wouldn't count them out just yet.

As for Houston, this is just another in an increasingly long list of actions taken by City Hall that are punitive toward small-business and jobs-growth.

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