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Taxi driver to strike holiday weekend, others back out

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Some Wilmington taxi drivers are not going to be operating on July 4.

This comes after a threat they made to the city in February over Uber driver regulations.  More than seven cab companies came together to explain their frustration. Now the time has come to strike, but not all of those companies are turning their taxis off.

For 11 years Mr Taxi has paid the bills for Marino Ranj.

“It was pretty good for a while, 6 or 7 years,” Ranj said.

He said the economy took a toll on his business. Then, Uber came to Wilmington.

“I thought, ‘Yeah, Mr Taxi, he’s not going to go away. People are going to need him,'” Ranj said.

At first, Ranj said there were only a few Uber cars.

“Then, all of a sudden, it just started taking over,” Ranj said. “People just need work. There is employment there. I give that to Uber. There is employment there.”

What isn’t there? Ranj said regulation and permits.

“I have to follow all guidelines, drug testing, federal background checks, higher insurance, of course, commercial,” Ranj said. “The Uber drivers are not obligated or watched over or anything.”

In February, several taxi companies came together to speak out against the city not holding Uber to the same standards.

Uber responded to the issue today with this statement:

“Rather than forcing antiquated taxi regulations on this innovative business model, ride sharing is a modern alternative that requires a new set of rules,” a spokeswoman said. “Over two dozens states have already passed legislation, establishing a permanent home for Uber and recognizing ride sharing as a valuable new option.”

The taxi drivers said in February, if the city or state didn’t do anything about the regulations, they would go on strike on the Fourth of July. While some drivers backed out, Ranj will be turning his taxi off.

“Oh, I am,” Ranj said. “I am. I just don’t know if it’s a strike or if it’s just lack of business and I just can’t afford to go outside looking for things that are not there.”

Several taxi companies we called that originally planned to strike said they will be operating tomorrow, because they say they have a service to the community. Some of the companies said they are still talking about it and deciding what they are going to do.

2 Comments

  • Lee Bell says:

    Mr Ranj,
    The last time I took a cab in this town it was the middle of the afternoon on a weekday, took almost 45 minutes for the cab to show up and then it cost me $10 to go 2.1 miles.
    I think that says enough.

  • As a former taxi driver in another city of the state I feel I must point some things out as they pertain to Uber and Taxi’s. A taxi company must carry insurance that covers anything and everything, with Uber if you get hurt in one of their cars the fact is those are not Uber cars(they do not belong to the company) those are privately owned vehicles only required to carry liability by the state, which means if you get injured in a taxi it will be covered but in an “Uber” car it depends on the individuals insurance which I beoieve is negated once the car becomes a a :for hire: vehicle”. Taxi drivers in most cities are required to be drug and background testd, Uber drivers are not nor are they fingerprinted which means you get into a car with a complete stranger that may or may not have good intentions with Uber and there could be no way to find the driver. Taxi’s are required to be in a certain condition at all times or they can not operate, Uber has no requirements on their drivers vehicles. Uber is basically a gypsy taxi driver network that will allow drivers to accept any trip they want at whatever price they feel like, and gypsy taxi drivers(drivers with no permits) are highly illegal for the same reasons Uber should be.

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