"There would be no fault in any taxi company going before the city to request more taxi permits in Wilmington to be able to make a living in the taxi business here."
I post this from my previous reply to this story for those that took what they wanted out of my post instead of reading the entire thing. As also previously stated, I do not want to publicly debate, attack or slander any company or driver.
What is really "too bad"... when I started in this business, ALL cab drivers were cab drivers. It didn't make a difference which company you drove for. You all worked together, helping each other....with FRIENDLY competition. Not once in my post did I mention any specific name or company. Not once did I compare any vehicle or driver to another. Nor do I plan to. I invite anyone to contact me regarding this whole "them vs us" circus. I don't see it as "them vs us" but it's painfully obvious there are those that do. I hear more complaints about other cab companies than probably all of the ILM cabs listen to put together. But, with no proof, I can't just go on a rant on Facebook or call the newspaper about all the other companies in Wilmington. The only goal is taking care of the customer.
My whole concern is: does the cab actually have a business license to do business within the city limits? That's it. No one person has the authority to change the fact that there are 155 business licenses to operate a taxi cab in the city of Wilmington. To do this, those concerned with raising that number simply have to request to be put on a docket to speak at a city council meeting, then go speak! Just because you don't have a "W" number doesn't mean you don't have the right to be heard. Just because you don't have a "W" number doesn't mean things can't ever be changed.
Why can't some of the energy being put into "ILM Cabs are better than City cabs" be put into ALL permitted cabs getting together and getting the "gypsies" put out of business? All the "cabs" with regular plates, no markings, no meters,"limos" running as taxis, ZERO permits, charging whatever they want? Is it alright for ANY of our customers to be fooled by these vehicles? I would hope the collective answer is "no".
I referenced an ILLEGAL vehicle (this would be a taxi not permitted ANYWHERE) being involved in a hit and run at Sam's club. This company couldn't be found because they're totally a "gypsy", no record of them with any permitting agency (Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach or ILM). Over the New Year's weekend it was reported a taxi hit a fire hydrant, the driver was drunk. Again...a totally illegal taxi cab. Why am I hearing none of this in the oh so vast public venue of the internet and the media? These weren't one of our drivers, they weren't the drivers of airport permitted cabs. But, these aforementioned taxis don't have a business license to operate in the city. How could the city possibly cite these cabs but leave the cabs who hold airport or Wrightsville Beach permits but not Wilmington permits alone? They can't. That would be construed as "favoritism" or whatever anyone wants to call it.
Could I send one of our cabs up to the airport to sit in the taxi line? No I can't. Why? Because they don't have airport permits. Any of our vehicles could be permitted at ILM, I choose not to have our vehicles sit in a line of (sometimes) more than 15 cabs, it's just not cost effective. (I wish someone permitted at the airport would do their research as to the legality of the $200/quarter (!!) fee just to operate out of the airport-I'll give you a hint: NC statute on the amount of a business license and GA Act setting up the airport authority-check it for yourselves).
A few FACTS:
a. Katt's Transportation does not own a red cab nor have we owned a red cab in over 4 years.
b. (This will cause a stir but oh well) ANY cab in Wilmington has been and is subject to an inspection at any time, anywhere the taxi inspector shows up. Any of my drivers can verify this, they've been through it.
c. There is nothing wrong with HEALTHY competition. This would mean not slandering people publicly with what you "think" you know. Nowhere have I stated that I have been for or against: limited or open competition, monopolistic practices (you guys have really latched on to this phrase-I don't think this city falls under that description-how many cab companies are there?) or free trade.
d. Most first time customers think we're all the same company.
e. There isn't any "cloak and dagger" going on in the taxi inspectors office or the city council building, it's a pretty simple process. (My favorite comment was by the guy who said some reporter could win a Pulitzer with an investigative story-highly unlikely-but stranger things have happened).
Finally, a few of questions:
1.Does it really make sense to anyone that the main point of the story appears to be it's the fault of the cap on "W" numbered cabs that people have to wait so long downtown when most of the cabs permitted elsewhere are all downtown anyway and there is STILL a wait for a cab on the big nights?
2. How many taxis will be "enough"?
3. Will more taxis than there are now (this IS including all the non "W" taxis) not cause more unwanted congestion in downtown Wilmington?
4. How many people know the city regulated cabs haven't had a rate raise in years?
5. If the "cap" is raised by the city for only the "big" holidays, and people still have a wait (which is a GIVEN), what then?
There is more, so much more, that could be posted. Not propaganda, spite or hate. It saddens me it has to be like this. Thanks for reading and hopefully understanding.
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