Austin cab drivers voice displeasure with proposal to add more taxis citywide

By • on January 11, 2012

January 10, 2012


AUSTIN — An overflow crowd of mostly local cab drivers packed in to the Urban Transportation Commission meeting at Austin City Hall Tuesday night. The majority were there to voice displeasure with a city proposal to add 75-more cab permits citywide.

The commission was not instructed to take action on the proposal. Instead the Austin City Council directed the Transportation Department to get feedback from commissioners regarding a proposal on adding more taxi permits this year.

Gordon Derr with the City of Austin’s Transportation Department told commission members that more taxis on Austin roads ensures the current services are affordable and are more efficient, especially during big events. Derr also said that additional cabs in Austin adds $33,750 to the city with the additional permit costs.

If the Austin City Council approves, then Lone Star Cab Company would get the majority of the new permits. Austin Cab would get the rest.

Derr estimates that local drivers will lose about five percent of their fares if this current proposal goes through.

Previously the city’s Transportation Department looked at population growth and the number of taxi trips to the airport to determine how many permits were needed. City Council has asked the department look at the impact of adding 75 permits.

Cab drivers are hoping city staffers relay their concerns to the council on February 9, when city leaders will receive the proposal and possibly take action the same day.

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