Changes to taxi cab ordinance could hurt smaller business
Changes ahead to area taxi cab services could put smaller companies at risk of losing business. This comes as the Sioux Falls city council prepares to make required changes to provide more efficient services long-term.
Sioux Falls needs to update the ordinance which regulates taxi companies and while it may serve to provide better service to you and me, certain new changes might do just the opposite for local cab companies.
The ordinance regulating cab companies hasn't been touched in nearly three decades. Sioux Falls city leaders say for safer more efficient service, it's time.
"There has been so many changes over the years. The number of cab companies we have is well over 20 and then there's cabs we may not even know about," Council Member Kenny Anderson Jr. said.
Proposed changes would require companies to work 'round the clock, and that could put smaller single-driver companies at risk.
"I would have to hire another person for sure, at leas two or three people. We can only drive 12 hours a day. I would have to choose which time is best for me. If I have to hire someone else I have to hire someone else," Richard 'Rico' Carlson said, owner of Rico's Cab Service.
That doesn't mean bigger companies won't be affected.
If a large amount of one-operators are having a hard time finding a way to operate, if those cars disappear, you would see that on a Friday or Saturday night to where you need those 15 extra cars on the road from 1-4 in the morning," 1st Choice Cab Owner Tom Werner said.
Tom Werner, operating his company with five cabs and six drivers, says he's staying optimistic.
"These are good changes and will only help everyone grow as the city grows. It's going to force some business owners to think differently," Councilor Anderson said.
From a city perspective, more oversight will make cab services more efficient long-term.
"Taxi cabs licensed in Sioux falls represent the city. they could be the first or last thing visitors interact with. we want to make sure those interactions are remembered in a positive manner," Councilor Anderson said.
The Public Services Committee will meet with the city administration members November 12 at 5:00 p.m. at Carnegie Hall for anyone who would like to pitch in their thoughts.
The city would like to have changes implemented soon, ideally, around the first of the year or in the weeks to follow.
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