Regulation in Virginia

Cab Call Away

Taxis in Alexandria, Virginia, are required by local law to take at least two calls from a dispatcher every day. The rule, which took effect in 2005, is aimed at discouraging cab drivers from idling at hotels, or at nearby Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, looking for big fares. But since there aren’t enough dispatch calls to go around, a requirement designed to ensure good taxi service is instead driving cab companies out of business.

The Alexandria Gazette Packet reports that the rule forced the Columbus Cab Company to shut its doors; another business, VIP Cab Company, is on probation for failing to meet the requirement. Rick Vogel, general manager of Union Cab Company, says he is on “pre-probation.”

“The next step is that the city forcibly takes cars away from you,” he told the Gazette Packet. “It puts the city in the position of being company makers or breakers.” 

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