A long-standing city ordinance regulating the number of taxi cab companies and the number of taxis that may operate in the city came close to extinction Tuesday.
At the recommendation of Mayor John Tyler Hammons, the City Council, acting as the Public Works Committee, voted to rescind the ordinance.
Hammons said the laws of supply and demand should govern who gets to operate a taxi company and the number of cars they should operate.
To do otherwise, he said, “is bad for growth, is bad for business and is bad economic policy.”
Councilor Shawn Raper said that by having the law requiring the council to approve whether a cab company can operate puts the city in the business of picking winners and losers — the winners get to operate, losers don’t.
Raper said he doesn’t think that is good policy. However, the council’s main concern about taxi cab operation should be for the public’s health and safety and as long as there are requirements that make taxi companies meet those requirements, he favored repealing the ordinance.
City taxi cab operators still will have to meet licensing and insurance requirements, said Roy Tucker, assistant city attorney.
The measure was approved by an 8-0 vote and will go to the City Council meeting Monday night for final approval.
Reach Liz McMahan at 684-2926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.