A taxi company that had been in Waco for 40 years shut down last Friday.
Owner Bill Kemp said business had been slowing down to less than 100 calls a day.
"Business got so slow and diminished that I was losing money. I was having to pay employees' payroll taxes out of my pocket,” Kemp said.
In addition, he said his company wouldn't have had as many competitors if all ridesharing companies and individual contractors would have the same regulations as cab companies.
For instance, cab companies have to pay a $100 permit per car every year. However, a city of Waco spokesman said Texas law prohibits municipal regulation, including licensing and taxing, of transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft.
"They are a cab operator, treat them like they treat the cab company cars. What's the difference? There's not any difference,” Kemp said.
Troy Sorenson who drives for Uber and Lyft said he wouldn’t mind paying a fee, if it were required.
“It would be good to charge the $100 dollars to get rid of the temporary people and the bad drivers,” Sorenson said.
Sorenson who has already had at least 1,700 passengers since he started driving for Uber in December 2016 wants to continue serving his riders.
“We are getting more riders as well. Baylor keeps us very busy,” Sorenson said.
Jacob Oliver who drove for Yellow Cab for four years said he is not surprised at customers being attracted by someone of the features companies and Lyft offer. He learned about the closure of the business last Friday.
“A lot of it when it boils down to it, nobody is carrying cash around them for safety reasons. Nobody is paying with cash and if we are not taking credit cards, nobody is going to order a cab,” Oliver said.
The 23-year-old said he noticed the decline in business firsthand.
“Back when we first started, we were running 250-300 calls. Business did slow down over the years."
Oliver said he may try becoming an Uber driver but he hopes Yellow Cab will return to Waco in the future.
Kemp who also owns Yellow Cab in Temple said that business will remain open there. He doesn’t anticipate making any changes to it.
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