Hoping to increase competition among taxis, some council members hope to expand the number of Lexington's cab companies. The council’s public safety committee sifted through changes called for in a taxi cab ordinance. One of the biggest would lower the minimum number of taxis per company from 25 to ten. Currently, only a few companies dominate the Lexington market. Greg Kujawski of Mr. Taxi says such a change would hurt service. His company keeps about 50 cabs on the street.
“You cannot operate a full service cab company with ten cabs.. and when I say full service what I’m talking about is having 24 hour seven day a week dispatch..when someone calls, there’s someone always answering the phone,” said Kujakski.
However, committee chair Diane Lawless says she’s a frequent user of cabs and she’s waited an hour and a half to get a ride during non peak hours.
“There’s no business that we legislate that a smaller or a larger business can’t open in competition,” added Lawless.
Will McGuiness of Lex-Taxi opened in 2002 with one vehicle. He believes many of the changes outlined in the draft ordinance will ultimately be approved.
“They’ve restricted my growth absurdly…I mean it’s just absolutely ridiculous ..they won’t allow me to grow…they won’t let me go from one to two to three…they want me to go from one to jump to 25,” said McGuiness.
The new ordinance also would require two mechanical inspections annually. Council members delayed action until a later date.