After having the initiative adjusted, getting the go from one committee, and then having the City Council vote delayed, the Vehicle for Hire Green Vehicle Initiative finally went before the City Council yesterday. Its approval would ultimately mean the death or opportunity for growth for at least one company.
The tweet from REV Eco-Shuttle told Hair Balls what we needed to know:
@GoREVGo The Green Ordinace has passed! Go #TeamREV Truly an historic day for Houston!
When it went before the City Council, it was passed unanimously.
Minutes after it passed, REV Eco-Shuttle owner Erik Ibarra -- who's been keeping Hair Balls updated on the ordinances' developments -- put the order in for a new shuttle, which would bring his fleet up to three. It should be on the road in the coming months.
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Heading into the morning vote, Ibarra said he was feeling "pretty hopeful" that the council would pass the initiative. The previous afternoon he had the opportunity to speak with Mayor Annise Parker and the council, and offer his last-minute thoughts and appreciation for working on the initiative. At the end of the meeting, according to Ibarra, Mayor Parker made the comment that "we look forward to passing this tomorrow."
That'll give a guy some confidence.
Ibarra's transporation company falls into the same category as Pedi cabs, which are both designated as Low Speed Vehicles. Back in July when there was discussion of passing the original Jitney Ordinance, Ibarra's company looked vulnerable and on the verge of being voted out of the transportation business. The city then invested the necessary time to come up with the new ordinance for the new classification of vehicle. The "Low Speed Shuttle" ordinance applies to vehicles that will not be allowed to exceed 25 mph and can seat anywhere from four to eight people.
To celebrate REV Eco-Shuttle's survival, Ibarrawas out at Pub Fiction last night to "celebrate a historic day for Houston!"