Harrison Co. amends rule prohibiting taxi discounts

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Ever since the Harrison County Motor Vehicle for Hire Commission was created in 2010, taxi drivers say that it has been one issue after another. First, the commission enforced taxes that the businesses found too steep. The latest debate was whether or not taxi cab drivers could offer discounts to customers.

Under the policy that was adopted over a year ago, cab drivers could not offer discounts to any customers unless they traveled for more than 49 miles in the cab.

Several in the business voiced their opinions about this policy.

Rita Suire with VIP Taxi Company said," We had a lot of very unhappy people."

According to Suire, the regulation was unfair. She said her customers would compare her business with others in the area, and wonder why she couldn't offer a senior citizen discount, or even a military discount. Rita said with Keesler being such a staple of the Biloxi community, the regulation was hurting her business. She said the military men and women would often rather drive their own car than to have to pay full taxi fees.

After hearing numerous complaints from taxi owners, the Harrison County Board of Supervisors voted to change the rules. The vote was unanimous and now taxi companies can once again offer discounts to military and senior citizens at their discretion.

Lori Long, owner of Exclusive Taxi, said she believes the decision is a step in the right direction.

"It's good for the industry. It's good for tourism. It's good for the public in general," Long said.

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