By Alyssa Schnugg
Starting next week, vehicles for hire will be required to pick up customers at one of three newly designated locations after 9 p.m. on the downtown Square.
The new policy goes into effect on Jan. 19.
Last month, approved an ordinance to require ride-share drivers and taxis to use the designated pickup areas from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., seven days a week.
The three pick-up locations for ride-share drivers are next to the Downtown Parking Garage, on South 14th Street and behind City Grocery.
Ride-share drivers and local cabs can drop off clients anywhere on the Square, but they must use the designated areas when picking up riders during the required hours.
Ride Share companies, who are not under the jurisdiction of the ordinance, voluntarily agreed to participate.
The new policy affects all taxi cab companies and private rideshare companies that operate in the downtown area.
Designated drivers are strongly encouraged, but not required to use the pickup locations.
The policy is designed to promote the safety of riders, reduce congestion and allow for a more pedestrian-oriented downtown area, according to city officials.
The new pick-up areas will be marked with signage, have lights and security cameras.