Cory: Our unofficial and unpaid transportation director.
I have explored all my options in trying to resolve my issues with all the illegal cab companies in town, I started with the mayor who shuffled me to the city attorney’s office. I have emailed the city attorneys who assure me all is well or maybe it isn’t, and we will just wait and see. But we will prosecute.
I can document my paper trail for over two years and the few times I went to city council meetings where I was admonished by both a council member and the city manager. This year we do not have any hurricanes to blame, of course Abraxi taxi weathered both storms and had our city medallions those past two years. We have been setting the transportation bar very high since our inception and are becoming frustrated as our competitors try to limbo under the lowest rungs possible. These statutes need to be enforced now.
The city, city attorneys, and Sax taxi colluded together to upgrade the vehicle for hire codes and regulations. This was put forward by Historic City News. And there was a resolution passed. From my understanding, behind closed doors, and a deal was struck to help form a monopoly. We certainly were not consulted. And in the end, this never materialized. Integrity won the day. Sax taxi went belly up on the ideas put forward in secret.
My issues are that no one is being held accountable for either enforcing and policing the new policies approved by the commission. I have been more then patient in voicing my concerns and now am at the end of my rope. Since Sax taxi no longer exists and code enforcement and the city attorney’s office will not take my concerns seriously perhaps we should no longer have any regulations. The city cannot or will not ensure all local companies are complying. Some companies have not honored this policy for years. And like gypsy cabs are unregulated, dangerous and illegal.
I also do not understand how you let rideshares operate here with no oversight. They cause congestion, break traffic laws and exploit the city codes I am required to adhere to. How can you allow them to use taxi lights, park willy- nilly with flashers on and transport our city guests with no rhyme or reason on who is working as a non-documented or fully insured driver? Let’s be honest there are little to non-existent background checks. And since they falsely claim they are not taxis, taxi dome lights should be outlawed.
So please investigate my concerns that everyone else has ignored, albeit assuring me that I have nothing to be concerned with. It is past the time frame for medallions and I bet that the majority of taxi companies, pedicabs, low speed vehicles and the most egregious of all: hotel shuttles, again will thumb their noses at the city knowing that they will face no fines or penalties.
My mistake in the past may have been going to the generals hoping orders would be whispered down the chain of command when as usual it is the NCOs non-commissioned officers who get things done. My next step may be the free press who has been somewhat critical of this city council in the past, or legal counsel to protect my business, our employees and the many tourists that visit the Ancient city. However, we would prefer that the police would start issuing warning then perhaps fines. Our intentions are not to embarrass anyone we just want justice.
The new assistant attorney tried to assure me that he was no blower of smoke, but all I am getting from the city government are gale force winds with gusts of smog to either obfuscate my concerns or just hide complacency in plain sight, whilst we are transparent and compliant. Again, all we ask is for a level playing field and for those companies that can not or will not abide by the city edicts in my opinion their charters should be rescinded. Am I being naïve that thinking the city should protect local legal entities?
So, Cory as acting taxi commissioner can you help us out. My managers and dispatchers are on my case as we can not keep drivers because these gypsy cabs are stealing food from their families. This has nothing to do with the state. These are regulations the city has dictated yet will not or perhaps is ill equipped to enforce. Perhaps you can find the correct department that controls enforcement as I have not had any success. We thank you for your time and realize that this is not exactly what you do but perhaps this letter might find its way to someone that can help us with this situation.