City council approves ordinance for taxi stands in Market area

City council approves ordinance for taxi stands in Market area
Published: Jul. 16, 2013 at 12:40 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 17, 2013 at 11:57 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston City Council has approved a plan to help control crowds around closing time at bars near the Market in downtown Charleston.

The council passed a taxi cab stand ordinance Tuesday night. Three stands will be set-up along Market Street, and those stands will be the only places people will be able to catch a cab around the Market Street area from 12:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday through Sunday.

"Wethink that this is not only going to create a safer environment, but it's alsogoing to create a more secure environment in our entertainment areas where wehave a lot of people," says Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen.

The biggest proposed stand will be at the corner of Market and Anson streets, while another would be on Market Street across from the Planters Inn. The last stand will be located at Market and East Bay streets.

Taxi service at the aforementioned locations would be on a "first come, first serve" basis.

Barry Britt oversees theseven cabs at Yellow Van Taxi. He says hailing a cab is like many otherservices built on reputation.

"Thehead taxi may not be a taxi company that I trust or that I'm familiar with. Imay not want to ride with that head taxi, but, yet, do to a line system, I'mbasically being forced."

Britt says he's concernedhis drivers may not make their weekly quota under the ordinance.

"The only reason I'm here today is because I know the burden is going to be put on the drivers.The loss of profit, that's going to come to the drivers."

If a cab driver is inthe "no flag" zone and picks up a passenger randomly, Mullen says thefine will be $262. He says if the pilot program is successful, taxistands could pop up along King Street in the future.

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