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Austin Cabbies, Rideshare Companies Fighting For Your Business

Updated: Wednesday, July 30 2014, 10:44 PM CDT

We've all been there waiting for a taxi which can sometimes be hard to come by. But the solution to that problem depends on who you ask.

"There is a need to make taxis more available when there is a surge in demand and we the industry have offered several solutions that have been swept aside thus far," President of Yellow Cab Austin Ed Kargbo said.

The city is exploring paid ride shares like Uber or Lyft, which right now are still illegally operating in the city of Austin.

But attorney Larry Salzman with the Institute of Justice says it's only a matter of time before ride shares become the norm in any major city.

"Right now there are lawsuits going on in Portland and there was recently a case in Nashville, the Institute for Justice has a case in Tampa, all of which are suing to strike down the regulations," Salzman.

At a public meeting supporting ride shares sponsors of the meeting referred to taxi companies as taxi cartels trying to manipulate city council to hold onto the monopoly.

"We are following the law and they are breaking the law. So you tell me who is the cartel? Who is the bully?" Kargbo said. 

But Austin City Council Member Chris Riley says he can understand both sides.  He's been a strong proponent of alternate transportation options but says the city still has its concerns when it comes to legal issues.

"We need to ensure that the drivers are checked out that the vehicles are safe there's adequate insurance all the measures the traveling customer would expect from a ground transportation service in Austin," Riley said.

By Rachel Kent

Austin Cabbies, Rideshare Companies Fighting For Your Business


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