Taxi drivers object to proposed fee increases

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - To help tourists and residents experience all that Harrison County offers, there is array of taxies, limos and busses available for hire.  However, the regulations that direct the driver for hire business vary from city to city.

"Right now in commercial ground transportation, it's kind of hodge podge as far as what policy and procedures they have, what ordinance that govern them," said Harrison County Supervisor Windy Swetman.

This will soon change.  State legislation has created the Harrison County Motor Vehicle for Hire Commission.  It will create a new set of rules and regulations that every driver will follow.

"One handicap that the commission has had is they're not very experienced in the taxi business. But, they've done a good job of researching it and coming up with a set of rules that's fairly easy for us to make some adjustments," said Royal Transit Taxi Owner Bill Warren.

The regulations will address industry problems, like vehicle maintenance and driver experience.  They will also include added driver fees to help fund the commission and commission actions.

Most drivers agree that uniform regulations are needed, but are upset at the terms of the cost.

"We do not feel that this is feasible, even with several compromises that have been made," said Airport Casino Military Taxi Owner Leisa Leisy.

Leisy has suggested the commission cut operation costs by asking for donations of funds or services.

Drivers have voiced their concerns and suggestions to the board.  Those comments will go under consideration before the final regulations are adopted.  Public comment will be accepted until five o'clock Friday evening.

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