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Azalea concerts could tax taxi service

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWWAY) -- Thousands of people are making their way to Downtown Wilmington for the first of the Azalea Festival Concerts and many of them maybe drinking.

You would think most cab drivers would be excited about the extra business, but that isn't the case.

Joshua Price has owned his own cab company for nearly 3 years but doesn’t have the proper permit which would allow him to pick up downtown patrons.

"It just outrages me. It makes me furious. I have a lot of people that call my phone and I go down and I pick them up and that's all I can do is go down there and pick them up,” said Price.

And that’s exactly what Wilmington Police want people to do. Detective Kevin Smith says to call a cab before getting behind the wheel, especially if you have been drinking.

“This is the year 2013 and if you haven't heard by now, it's not a good idea to drink and drive,” said Smith.

Andrew McClenham has been driving cabs for years and has the proper permit but knows this is going to be a busy weekend.

“They should call us regardless, but you know this is Wilmington. We have a drinking problem in this town and if they shut down downtown for one night and write DUI'S they would eliminate the problem,” said McClenham.

Detective Kevin Smith doesn’t intend for there to be any problems as long as people act responsibility.

“There are going to be a lot of people in a relatively compact area, so the key is to not only to have a good time but have some patience,” said Smith.

Demand for taxi services will be high this weekend so make sure you place your call before midnight.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Hey WWAY ..... Why is Josh Price furious?

He doesn't have a downtown pick-up permit and he's furious because he can't pick up passengers downtown? Without a further explanation that doen't make sense.

Is the city preventing him from getting a permit (and if so, why) or does he just not want to pay for a permit and he's mad that he cant do what he's not licensed to do or what?

I have never heard of a

I have never heard of a permit to pick up downtown. Maybe to "stage", meaning park downtown and wait for a fare. I know cabbies have to have a permit to pick up at the airport, or did a few years ago. It is all about paying for somebody's permission to provide a service. All the cabbies should get together and refuse service to the downtown cesspool and see how fast things change. As long as you go by somebody elses rules without complaints, nothing will ever change.

Permits

In addition to the permit required to pick up at the airport, the taxis also have to have a "W" permit to pickup or drop off inside city limits and the number of permits issued is limited. Bigger companies such as Yellow, Port City and Kats have the majority of "W" permits even buying them to keep competition from smaller companies & individuals down.

Thanks for the info guesty

Figured it was something like that but wasn't exactly sure. Too bad that wasn't included in the newspiece like it should have been. Seems like quite a few of our "ace" reporters are still using their training wheels to get around these days. I know budgets are tight even for TV stations, but if you're going to use mostly trainees, perhaps they should have a trainer.

The "W" is to help police

The "W" is to help police distinguish Yellow Cabs (and others) from cabs from Jacksonville and other towns who like to invade Wilmington on weekends. I think, however, the permits are pretty much open, now. Yellow used to have 35 or 36 permits, I think it was, and not sure how many others had. At one time Yellow had no. 13, but superstitious passengers complained and that number was turned in. I think the permit limit has been lifted and anybody can pretty much run a cab as long as it meets guidelines and is less than 10 years old.

just my opinion

I think Josh is saying that he can't take his cab downtown and wait on random people to hop in... that unless he has the permit, he can only go pick people up downtown who have called him and asked for a pick-up.

If you watch the video, that's how it seems.

Don't think he really has grounds to be mad, unless the permit process is somehow unfair.

Very possibly could be the

Very possibly could be the case. This in itself is unfair. He has a driver's permit and is there to serve his customers, regardless of whether they call him or flag him. Some cabbies will not pick up stray fares unless the call goes through dispatch for safety reasons. However, it should be his choice.