City considers changes to improve taxi service

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Make a mess of yourself in a cab on the way home from downtown Wilmington, and you could face an extra charge. It’s one of several changes City Council is considering to better transportation services.

Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous says cab service in Wilmington is a long-standing problem. Now he is working with cab companies and city council to find a fix.

City council is considering an ordinance that would allow drivers to charge a $100 clean-up fee for anyone who throws up… or worse… In a cab.

“That will keep the cab much cleaner and will serve the city better with cleaner cabs,” AAA Coastal Taxi owner Majed Shanak said. “We totally agree with that.”

Other possible changes for the cabs were also brought up at Tuesday’s City Council meeting including regulating the appearance of cab drivers and the cleanliness of the cabs.

The controversial idea of adding more taxi to service Wilmington is also in question.

“Aout them increasing the cabs, the number of cabs in the city, I don’t agree with that, because we have a lot,” Shanak said. “We have plenty of cabs in the city.”

Not everyone agrees that there are enough cabs downtown, but Evangelous says they are doing what they can to provide for those who need a ride.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure they have access to safe, efficient transportation home so they’re not on the roads, so they’re not creating havoc and death and destruction,” Evangelous said.

There are taxi stands along front street for late-night riders, but the stands are not well marked or regulated. Evangelous says he is working with the cab owners and City Council to make improvements to correct this and other taxi problems.

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