The Never-Ending Issue: 'Green Vehicle Initiative,' City Council & The Search For A Vote
Today was the day, after all the months and weeks of waiting, that the Vehicles for Hire Green Vehicle Initiative would go before City Council for a vote. This was,as we previously mentioned
, to be the third and final step in what has become a drawn-out process.
Of all the stakeholders, REV Eco-Shuttle owner and founder, Erik Ibarra, had been one of the most involved and adamant about its passing. He's been tweeting the past few days in anticipation of what would be a definitive moment in the future of his business. If it passed, he was ready to expand, if it was voted down, the days of his electric vehicles zipping around Downtown, Midtown and Washington Ave. would likely be done.
And so it went before the council. All 14 members were present. And ...
It was tagged. Meaning, it won't be voted on until the next meeting.
Ibarra and pedicab owners around the city can thank Councilman James Rodriguez for prolonging the vote another two weeks. The council is on break for a week, so the initiative will be back on the agenda for the Oct. 27th meeting.
Councilman Rodriguez was still in session when Hair Balls tried to get a comment.
Ibarra mentioned that in the Sept. 30th Development and Regulatory Affairs committee meeting, Rodriguez, who sits on the committee, expressed concerns about whether pedicabs and low speed shuttles (the category REV Eco-Shuttle falls under) should be equipped to transport handicapped passengers.
"It seems a bit late in the game to be bringing this up," Ibarra said. The companies current fleet is only two vehicles.
The Low Speed Shuttle classification had been something the Administration & Regulatory Affairs Department had put substantial time into creating in order to not only enable Ibarra's company to continue, but in order to lay the groundwork for future transportation companies to join the market.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.