GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– A ‘clerical error’ has grounded the entire fleet of Yellow Cab taxis in Grand Rapids, according to the company. That error prompted city officials to deny Yellow Cab’s license to operate current fiscal year, which began July 1st. Yellow Cab is appealing that decision and is now waiting on the outcome of an arbitration meeting to find out if or when they can start running again.
Nancy Maxim has been a driver for Yellow Cab since the beginning, eight years ago. Now, for the first time in her driving career she’s left wondering what’s next.
“We can’t pay our bills, we can’t buy food, we can’t pay our rent, it’s not fair and it’s not right,” Maxim said. “I’m 60 years old. Who is going to hire a 60-year-old woman?”
According to Yellow Cab, the error involved four vehicles has now grounded their entire fleet. Those four vehicles are owned by brokers, who have their own vehicles, license and registration. Yellow Cab subleases them.
In order to take customers, all vehicles must pass a Taxicab Vehicle Safety Certification from the city of Grand Rapids
According to Yellow Cab, someone tried to pass their own vehicle as ‘already inspected’ in order to avoid paying a mechanic. The company says someone whited out the vehicle number of a completed safety form and penciled in their own vehicle number.
Now, Grand Rapids’ city officials have denied Yellow Cab’s license to run in the city.
It’s devastating for Maxim, who says she has clients whose lives depend on her.
“I’ve got people I take to Ionia. I’ve got people I bring from Kent City to down here,” she said, adding that the man in Ionia will die if he doesn’t get driven to his doctor’s appointments.
Yellow Cab says the error was corrected, but that the city didn’t notify them in time. Now, 30 cabs and 60 drivers are left sitting idle.
According to Grand Rapids City Clerk Lauri Parks they expect to have a decision from that appeal sometime in the next two weeks.
“If that decision is upheld by the administrative hearing officer, there is an additional opportunity to appeal to the city commission,” she said.
Here is the official statement from Yellow Cab: