Cedar Rapids City Council works to change taxi regulations - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids City Council works to change taxi regulations

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The Cedar Rapids City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance today that would change regulations for taxis in hopes of leveling the playing field with ride-sharing companies like Uber. 

Uber is a Transportation Network Company known as a TNC, rides are ordered through an app on a smart phone and the company can set their own rates. 

Right now taxi companies are required to have a permanent office and be open 24/7, these are a couple of things on a long list the city council is hoping to change. 

All it takes is one ride in a cab with Darryl Hassinger to realize he puts the customers first. 

"I get out I help the customers in and out of my car," he tells us. 

It's something the people at Nick's Cab believe in, just take it from Nick himself. 

 "If we start giving a notion to a customer that when I look at them all I see are dollar signs, we cannot build trust that way," says Nicholas Hassinger, Owner of Nick's Cab. 

He says as the owner of a cab company he isn't fully supportive of changing taxi regulations. 

"I don't believe in trying to make the cabs more fly by night by not knowing if it's a cab, not having a meter, not having a top light and if a cab company wants to or not they don't have to put the rates on the side of the car they could just have like a little plaque inside of the car," says Nicholas. 

The new rules would mean no regulations when it comes to prices a taxi company could charge. 

 "You take them for a ride and say oh it's gonna be 50 bucks and he's like you only took me a mile but really by the rule you wouldn't be able to do anything about it, I think that's the only controversy is because the new rules with the pay," says Darryl. 

The new rules would require taxi's to give customers an estimate of what the trip would cost ahead of time however they wouldn't be required to verbally bring it up, it could simply be posted somewhere inside of the cab. 

Taxi companies would be randomly audited to make sure they are following the new rules. 

The city says they haven't heard many people opposing the idea in fact no one spoke during today's public comment period. 

If the ordinance passes it would go into effect in April. 

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