make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

How many taxis are enough?

READ MORE: How many taxis are enough?
taxi300.jpg
Are there enough taxis in the city of Wilmington? The city issues 155 taxi permits to cab companies throughout the Port City, and those are the only cabs that can pick up passengers in the Wilmington city limits. Taxi drivers say the system isn't fair. A spokesperson for the city of Wilmington said that except for two or three busy hours on the weekend, there is a surplus of taxis throughout the city, but some taxi drivers disagree. “I’ve had people get in my cab say 'man we've been waiting for an hour and a half, we've been waiting 2 hours, we haven't seen a cab yet’,” said Jared Ohern. Jared Ohern drives a cab for AAA Coastal Taxi. The company is licensed to pick up passengers at the airport and in Wrightsville Beach. But Coastal Taxi is on a long waiting list for a Wilmington city permit. “I've heard of guys being on it four years and five years,” Ohern said. The city issues 155 permits to cab companies. If an unlicensed company picks up a passenger in the city they could face a $250 fine and have their car impounded. “To us it is really valuable. I mean as much as buying gold,” said Majed Shannak of AAA Coastal Taxi. Ohern and Shannak say these permits are worth so much to a driver, some companies are selling them on the black market. “Some of these numbers are going for $10,000, for a $25 permit,” Ohern said. Companies that have the permits, don't want more issued because it would mean more competition for business. One permitted driver said there are already too many cabs, but Ohern says there are plenty of passengers to go around. “If you come down here any time people are waiting on cabs.> For AAA Coastal Taxi, increasing it's customer base in a struggling economy could provide enough business to fuel the company through the recession. “I put my time, my money, all my effort to build this company and W-numbers will definitely save our business,” Shannak said. Cab companies must have taxis with W-permits inspected every year. The Wilmington Police Department issues the permits and the inspector says he believes there are more than enough permits for the amount of business throughout the city.

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.

»

taxis

are there enough taxis in wilminton??? well, the real questions should be are there enough safe taxis in wilminton. wilmington permited cab are inspected once a year. all cabs permitted throught the airport are inspected 4 times a years so generally an airport cab is safer than just a wilmington permited cab. they mentioned in the article that not all the permitted cabs are used all the time. something else i believe is not fair is that most of the decisions made to rules and regualtions and what not realating to the taxis is done by the wilmington taxi association. this associations is basically the big four companies in wilmington and i can not be a part of it even though im a full time driver, you have to have 24 hour radio dispatch which only the big four have but is not really needed by all companies, but at the same time they help govern everyone. how is that fair? its not. this association is another reason why wilmington will not open up the w numbers. With the big four(letts, kats, yellow cab, and portcity}, they have offered to give up city permitsin oder to keep the city from opening the permits up. i think htey should jsut open up the numbers and those who meet all regulations should be able to get one because after all i thought nc was a right to work state. plus, with more business, generally means more taxes for the city. i know this will bring more competition, and generally the strong will survive, isnt that capitlasism. But, like i said the wilminton nc taxi association( the big four) governs what goes on in wilminton with taxis so of course they dont want this to happen because lot of smaller nicer companies already threaten their business, this is just unfair but not to them. so im all for them opening up w numbers.

How many Taxis are enough?

It's really sad that one person has caused the media to jump on a story without facts. FACTS: Cities throughout the nation regulate taxicabs. Balancing the supply and demand of Taxicabs allowing full time drivers to earn a reasonable living. The City of Wilmington has as many cabs per capita as New York City! Without the demand for Taxis that New York City has. There is normally a 15 to 30 minute wait in Wilmington for a Taxi. Yes there are peek times,(3 hours on Friday & Saturday nights). But no one should think we need more taxis based on a 6 hour period a week. Have you every gone to Outback Steak House at 7:00pm on Friday night and waited 1 to 2 hours to be seated....Do we need more Resturants? NO...it's peak time for resturants. The National Taxicab Association (TLPA)study, recomends 75 cabs per 100,000 population.

It's not a free market, if

It's not a free market, if the city regulateswhat cabs can charge a for a ride. City sets the pricing therefore they must control the supply. That is basic econ 101. Supply - Demand curve. Not sure anyone wants taxi drivers charging whatever they want for each fare.

taxis

Why should the City limit taxis? Let 'em run - they will cull themselves according to their service to the customers. That's Capitalism at its best!!!

Maybe we do need more

Maybe we do need more taxi's. NHC has one of the highest DWI rates in the state. If people are waiting 2 hours for a cab, no wonder they try to drive. That said, it's definately better than it was 10 years ago when I moved here. If you were out downtown on a weekend you couldn't get a taxi at all back then.

Free Markets

"How many taxis are enough?" The answer should be: "As many as the free market determines." Not: "As many as the politicians decide." As a result, I often take rogue cabs, which are cheaper. Ask around downtown, you can easily find undercover drivers, who shouldn't have been forced undercover by burueacrats in the first place. And since they take cash, the city sees no tax revenue from it. Idiots.