- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Jackson City Council is looking at reducing the number of vehicles required to operate a taxicab company in the city from eight to four or fewer.

The council took no action on the proposal Tuesday, opting to let a committee hold a public hearing on the ordinance change.

The Clarion-Ledger reports (http://on.thec-l.com/1FtIeHK) a vote also was delayed because some council members suggested requiring only one vehicle and to allow a cab service to operate from a business location or a home office.

In addition to the eight-car requirement, current city ordinances mandate a cab company have a physical location and operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“Why can’t you operate the hours you want?” said Councilman Ashby Foote.

Foote said the requirement of eight vehicles places cab companies at a disadvantage, especially with ride-sharing services such as Uber.

“We are against reducing it below four,” said Deluxe Cab Co. owner Tyra Dean, who represents cab owners and drivers. “We agree it (ordinance) needs to be updated, but you can’t do away with the rules.”

Taxi owners said a requirement of eight vehicles places cab companies at a disadvantage, especially with ride-sharing services such as Uber.

Council members said regulations dealing with Uber will be in a separate ordinance. The city currently has no regulations or ordinance dealing with ride-sharing services.

Uber allows mobile phone users to hail a car from anywhere in the Uber coverage area, which locally includes Jackson, Ridgeland, Flowood and Pearl. Uber’s business model is similar to a traditional cab service, but it hinges on the “ride sharing” term, which allows the company to bypass typical municipal, state and federal cab requirements or restrictions.

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Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com

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