Ride-sharing programs garner Beaumont approval

Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames

Those looking for a chauffer to taxi them about the streets of Beaumont will soon have an option in utilizing what the city has termed “Transportation Network Companies” (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft, two of America’s most popular ride-sharing models, with Uber already announcing plans to open up operations in the Beaumont market (tentatively) by the end of the month.

Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames said she is excited about progress underway in the city and believes the new program could be beneficial to the citizens she serves. To be sure, Ames is not only a supporter from afar; she said she has used the service herself while out of town in San Francisco and couldn’t be more happy to get the opportunity to use it in her own town, too.

“The only concern I have is I don’t want it to turn into a cab company,” she said. “I just want our citizens to be safe.

“I’m glad it’s finally coming to fruition. I think it’s a good deal. The convenience of it is amazing.”

The deal to bring TNC services to Beaumont has been long in the making, sparked by officials looking for a way to curb incidences of drunk driving. TNC implementation in the municipality stalled as city staffers perfected plans to ensure the city’s ordinances allowed for the enterprise and to perfect wording calling for specific insurance coverage and background review of potential drivers. The Beaumont City Council agreed that all the details had been ironed out when the group unanimously approved an ordinance that would allow for TNCs to operate in Beaumont during its meeting Tuesday, Jan. 12.

With TNCs such as Uber, the customer has access to ride-sharing via smartphone applications and can not only order a ride via a few swipes on the phone, but pay for the service the same way as well. In the interest of consumer safety, all TNC drivers in the city of Beaumont will be required to undergo a multi-state criminal and sex offender background check and submit information for review such as driving history and automobile registration and insurance paperwork.