Taxicab regulation changes possible in Grand Rapids

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids city clerk’s office is proposing regulation changes that could help cab companies.

Competition between cabs and Uber is fierce. Cab drivers say the scales are tipped in favor of Uber and that it would help if the city loosens regulations for cab companies.

Grand Rapids city clerk Darlene O’Neal says deregulating parts of the city taxicab code will be beneficial for drivers and riders.

Some of those changes include setting up taxi cab zones at strategic locations, and allowing advertising on cabs. But some cab companies think the deregulation don’t go far enough.

"There's just too many things that they are not accountable for,” Says Karen Heyser, Calder City taxi manager. “So I feel they need to do some regulation of Uber, on top of helping us out at the same time."

Cab companies in Grand Rapids also have to pay a yearly $350 permit fee. Companies would like the city to lower those rates and allow changes to cab fares.

"I think they need to give more flexibility to the companies as far as pricing goes,” says Scott York, a manager with Yellow Cab. “They have not changed the pricing in a long time. I'm not suggesting they go up on it, we may actually want to go down."

The city clerk’s office hopes to have the proposed regulation changes confirmed and approved by the city commission on May 10.

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