Sunday, November 27, 2011

Approve Volunteer Cab. Let the Market Determine the Need for Taxi Service.

by Rod Williams

Here in Nashville, a group of 61 cab drivers wish to form their own cab company.The cab drivers are all Ethiopian, all of them legal immigrants, some of them already American citizens and others in the process of becoming citizens. They are currently driving cabs for other companies.

Here is the way the taxicab system works in Nashville: A cab driver owns his own cab, he pays for his own fuel, maintenance and insurance. However he does not own the permit to operate a cab and must pay a weekly fee, called a "lick," of  $150 to $200 to the company that owns the permit.

The Ethiopian cab drivers have applied to Metro Government for the right to form a new company called Volunteer Cab. So far, they have been denied and a vote has been deferred until December 20. Existing cab companies are auguring against the entry of this new company into the market saying the market is saturated and the applicants can not show a need for a more cabs. Others are arguing that it is often hard to get a cab in Nashville and that there is a need for more cab service.

It is an outrage that Metro Government is denying this new company the right to form.  The whole taxi regulation system that views its function as protected existing cab owners rather than protecting the public needs to be repealed. We need to have an unlimited number of taxicabs and let the market determine the cab fare and the number of cabs.

I am not opposed to all regulations of taxi cabs or limousines. Tourist need to be assured that if they get into a cap that it is driven by a licensed driver, that the cab is carrying insurance, the vehicle is road-worthy and they are not likely to ripped off. Regulation should be for the benefit of the consumer, not protectionism for the provider. If we need for the government to set the taxi fare, the rate should be the maximum not the minimum. We need to rethink regulation of transportation. Nashville does not have to follow the model of other cities, we could become a leader in free-market transportation.

Congratulation Councilwoman Karen Johnson
Karen Johnson
Congratulation go to Councilwoman Karen Johnson, who has argued before the Taxi Licensing Commission on behalf of the drivers wishing to form the new taxi company. She has argued in favor of free enterprise and against a limit on the number of taxicabs. She has told the licensing board that free enterprise is the American way and that they should not limit the number of cabs. She told them, "The more the better." Perhaps Karen Johnson will emerge as the champion of free enterprise in the Metro Council.

To read the Tennessean article on this issue, click here.

To read how Metro tries to drive out of business economy limousine service in order to protect expensive limousine service, click here.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

No comments:

Post a Comment