New rate increase and rules for Dayton taxis

New rules for local taxis. (WDTN Photo)
New rules for local taxis. (WDTN Photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) -Damaged bumpers, emergency brake problems, and tinted windows. Those are just some of the items noted on recent taxi cab inspections in Dayton.
2 NEWS Investigates found out which one’s didn’t pass the test this year and why next year’s exam is looking to be a lot more difficult.

Everyday a row of taxis can be found waiting at the Dayton International Airport. They have one task; to transport people to a destination safely.

The city of Dayton has an ordinance in place to make sure that happens.

“We inspect the cabs and we also do background checks on the drivers to make sure there is nothing in their history to put a passenger at risk,” said Sgt. Michael Godsey with the Dayton Police Department.

The police department conducts inspections every June and gives cabs who have trips originating from Dayton a new license if they pass.

2 NEWS Investigates obtained the report on the latest round. Out of the 53 cabs that were looked at, 5 failed.  “We start off with appearance. Do all the body panels match? Is there any dents, dings, missing parts or pieces?” said Sgt. Godsey.

Some of the issues revolved around tinted windows and bumper damage, but what had us concerned were the two cabs that had emergency brake issues noted.
Natalie: That sounds dangerous to me?

“Yes, there were two that way. They were not licensed. They were rejected,” continues Sgt. Godsey, “we went as far as pulling the green sticker off their car and even took a paint pen and wrote across the window, “out of service “so there was no question that car was not to haul anyone until it’s fixed.”

I called both Petra Cab Company and All America about the issues. I spoke with the owner of Petra on the phone. He told me the cab with issues will not be driven until it’s fixed. I haven’t heard back from All America.

You can always tell if your cab has been inspected by finding this sticker on the front fender.

A lot of these issues stem from older vehicles and the city is making a change that will help limit these issues in the future. “With the arrival of Uber and possible Lift we looked at our taxi cab ordnance and we upgraded the standards we had”

Dayton is now requiring all cab companies, that have trips originate in the city, to have vehicles no older than 8 years. All companies have to be in compliance starting in January.

That means all of these cabs would have to be upgraded to newer vehicles.

Uber and Lift already have strict requirements on the way their vehicles look and are presented, so Dayton wanted to make sure its taxis matched the competition.
“In order to level the playing field and we wanted to bring our standards up. We hadn’t looked at our taxi ordinance for 12 years. It’s all about the experience for the citizens and also for the our visitors that come in from the airport,” said Sgt. Godsey.

Because of the change in ordinance next year that requires taxi cabs to get newer vehicles and the cost of that, the Dayton City Commission approved a rate increase this month that is already in effect. This includes increasing the first half mile by $2.

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