Controversial Taxi Stands Stay in Place

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COLUMBIA - City Council voted unanimously tonight to continue a controversial taxi stand program in downtown through December.

Taxi drivers say the rules hurt business and make their customers walk farther than necessary to catch a taxi.

""I made a good living at this until the taxi stands, and now I'm struggling to get by. If things don't change pretty soon, if the students get back, and I'm not making a living, I got to get another job," cab driver Anthony Vant Leeven said.

The Special Business District board is the advisory committee behind the plan and it says the stands are necessary for safety. It says before the stands, the taxis held up traffic and caused dangerous conditions.

"When you have people coming out of bars late at night and they're all gathering right at the front door of the bar, trying to get taxis, what you end up having is a real block on the sidewalk," board member Mary Wilkerson said.

The original pilot project ran from May 1 to July 31, and is now extended through the fall semester. The board says it now wants to test the project with students in town.


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