HPD forming task force against ride servicesAs the Uber and Lyft ride-sharing debate heats up in Houston, HPD has decided to step up enforcement (like this) with a new dedicated task force that has already snagged its first culprits. On Monday a sting operation backed by a SWAT team swooped in on a car at IAH driven by John Manziel. John had given an airport ride to his friend Matthew Schaub, when Matthew unexpectedly offered him $10 for gas money during the drop off. That's when the team swooped in, arresting the unsuspecting criminal John for operating a taxi without a license. At a press conference later, Houston Police Chief McClelland was quoted as saying,
"For too long we've looked the other way as this kind of underground black market has preyed on our citizens. No more. I have a warning to so called 'friends' everywhere: we're watching you. We now have zero tolerance for this kind of criminal behavior, and we're going to get these thugs off our streets."The task force is being staffed from units that previously cracked down on drunk driving, which the Chief described as "a lower priority problem". The task force will mainly be monitoring airport drop-off zones, but is looking into a partnership with the National Security Agency to monitor social media for "friendly rides" arranged anywhere across the city.
UPDATE: Ugh, this is closer to reality than I thought.
Hope you enjoyed this year's April Fools post ;-D Here are previous years if you missed 'em and would like a chuckle:
- 2013: Astrodome to be restored to host 2017 Super Bowl LI
- 2012: Hobby to close, IAH turned over to United
- 2008: Neighborhood happy with new Ashby tower modifications
- 2007: Mayor expands historic preservation, air pollution initiatives
- 2006: Metro settles Universities/Westpark/Richmond rail alignment
- 2005: Houston embraces "New Weather Urbanism"