Cleveland taxi cab owners want end of city meters

Cleveland taxi cab owners want end of city meters

October 16th, 2012 by Randall Higgins in News

Mayor Tom Rowland stands in front of the shops of downtown Cleveland, Tenn.

Photo by Jenna Walker/Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Cleveland's two taxi company owners say they cannot turn a profit under the city's 13-year-old regulations.

Carolyn Myers, owner of A&K Cab Co., says the main obstacle is a requirement for meters in the cabs. Under the meter system, it costs $2 to enter the cab and the travel charge is $1.50 per mile, according to an A&K Cab spokesman.

"Bradley County and Cleveland is not big enough for us to run meters," she said.

Myers and competitor Debbie Wooten of Quick Cabs said they have been charging $8 for rides citywide.

"People are not complaining about that," Myers said.

For every dollar a customer pays, 40 cents goes to the driver, she said. Then Myers pays for the vehicle, gas, oil, tires, mechanical needs and insurance out of the 60 cents. That leaves little money for her, she said.

"After 13 years, the way prices have gone up, I think it's time to look at this again," Mayor Tom Rowland said.

He is asking city staffers to review the regulations and make recommendations at a future City Council meeting. Some cities do not regulate cab fares, and some do.

Some cities -- he used Washington, D.C., as an example -- allow cabs to add a fuel surcharge, Rowland said.

Contact Randall Higgins at rhiggins@timesfreepress.com or 423-314-1029.