- Associated Press - Monday, June 9, 2014

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Oxford aldermen will hear from the public June 17 on proposed changes to the city’s taxi ordinance that would limit what cabs can charge riders and require all cab drivers to have video cameras.

Alderman Jay Hughes told the Oxford Eagle (https://bit.ly/1iA4toK) he and other board members have received complaints about some taxi companies gouging customers during home football game and other big events; or students after a night on the Square.

Currently, cab drivers can charge $10 per passenger within the city limits or to the University of Mississippi campus and $2.50 for each additional stop.

If four people were going to the same place the cab driver could charge them $40 to drive a mile or two down the road.

The proposed change would allow the first passenger to be charged $10 with each additional passenger paying $5 if they are going to the same place. If more than one stop is required, inside the city limits, the driver can add on an additional $2.50 charge.

It also would not allow taxi drivers to charge passengers more on special weekends, such as home game days.

“They are charging more on those weekends when they aren’t accruing any additional charges and driving the same 2 miles,” Hughes said. “We are giving cab owners the greatest latitude and they can still make $25 for running four people from the Square to campus.”

The proposed required video cameras would help protect everyone in the cab, including the driver, Hughes said. The recordings would only be necessary to download and review if a complaint was filed or in the case of robbery.

Angel Taxi owner Sue Stoner said her cabs have videos already.

“There was a cab driver who got robbed and beaten a few years back and that’s when I put them in my cabs,” Stoner said. “They aren’t that expensive. They’re about $250 a camera and it’s a smart thing to do. Since I installed them, I have no taxi drama.”

All cabs will be required to be inspected by the Oxford Police Department before hitting the road.

A company’s insignia or logo with a phone number will be displayed on the vehicle.

Drivers will also be required to issue all passengers a written receipt detailing where the trip started and ended, how much was charged, how many passengers, and the time and date of the trip.

Each cab must display a 5-inch-by-8-inch sign inside that shows the rates inside the city and it must state the driver is required to provide a receipt.

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Information from: Oxford Eagle, https://www.oxfordeagle.com

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