New Taxi Regs Would Increase Competition

Lexington resident Carmen Davis has dreams of running a small business. She and a friend have been researching the possibility of opening a taxi cab company. Davis' efforts came to a screeching halt when she saw Fayette County's current taxi requirements. "I believe I started looking at the ordinance in early June and it was kind of overwhelming because to buy 25 vehicles at one time is a huge investment for a small business owner." 

But a proposed change to the ordinance would reduce the minimum number of vehicles needed to start a taxi company. Rick Curtis with Lexington's Department of Public Safety says the current requirement is too high. 

"From everything that I've seen and everyone that I've talked to around the country, ten is a norm number around the country to start at taxi cab business. It's controllable by law enforcement, it's not so much out of hand that it cannot be controlled by the companies themselves." 

Curtis says reducing the car requirement from 25 to 10 will lead to more cab companies in town and ultimately better service across the board. 

"The major complaint that I've heard is the condition of the cabs, the condition of the drivers, the tone of the drivers, the fact that they didn't really represent the city that well." 

The Urban County Council's Public Safety and Public Works Committee voted Tuesday to move the proposal forward. The full council will review the changes when it returns from summer break.