Taxi drivers protest proposed rule changes at airport - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Taxi drivers protest proposed rule changes at airport

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

They parked their cabs to stage a protest on the beach in Biloxi. On Thursday, a group of taxi drivers picketed for about an hour against proposed regulations at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. The drivers claim the changes being considered are unfair and could drive them out of business.

"We need our jobs! We need our jobs," the protesters chanted.

They were vocal and visible as they tried to rally support from passing motorists. More than 20 taxi drivers and owners of taxi companies gathered on the beach at DeBuys Road for a demonstration against the Airport Authority.

"We're very concerned about continuing to make a living. Most of the drivers out here, they do business at the local airport, and the airport is imposing rules that would make it difficult for us to stay in business," said taxi driver Steve Hoyt.

Most drivers voiced concerns about a proposal that would change the way they charge their customers, from metered rates to a flat rate. There would be a different price set for each zone.

"I'll have about a 30 percent reduction in income. It will hurt me very bad. It'll hurt all the drivers bad," said Raymond Hartmann, who owns Mississippi Airport Taxi Service.

The drivers said other proposed changes include raising the insurance requirements for the vehicles and limiting the age of each cab.

"The age of the cab they say has to be ten years or less. Well, that's pretty ridiculous. We have an annual inspection on these cabs that should determine whether the car is fit or not," said Bill Warren, who owns Royal Transit.

"They have rules that would greatly increase the burden to operate," said Hoyt. "The only thing for us is to get support from the public for this. We're out here just hoping that people will see our problem and understand our problem and support us as local businesses that live in this area and spend the money that we make in this area."

The public comment period ends this upcoming Monday. The drivers have sent a petition to the Airport Authority. They said facing higher operating costs and cuts to their income, they can't afford to keep the cabs on the road.

"I think it's just another attempt by the airport to get rid of the small operators. They don't like taxis. They don't like taxi drivers," said Warren.

Airport Executive Director Clay Williams sent WLOX this statement:

"The airport seeks to provide quality customer service for visitors to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. One of the first impressions that a visitor has is their experience with ground transportation. The Airport Authority wants to enhance the standards for taxi services departing from Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport."

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  

 

  

 

 

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Plans to open aviation museum in Gulfport hit road block

    Plans to open aviation museum in Gulfport hit road block

    Monday, July 24 2017 10:49 PM EDT2017-07-25 02:49:43 GMT

    Supporters of what's called the Mississippi Aviation Heritage Museum said they were recently told much needed repairs can't be made using a $250,000 grant acquired from the state.

    More >>

    Supporters of what's called the Mississippi Aviation Heritage Museum said they were recently told much needed repairs can't be made using a $250,000 grant acquired from the state.

    More >>
  • Intoxicated driver who injured Bethanie Jones pleads guilty

    Intoxicated driver who injured Bethanie Jones pleads guilty

    Monday, July 24 2017 10:48 PM EDT2017-07-25 02:48:36 GMT
    Bethanie Jones, 27, was severely injured in a car accident on Popps Ferry Road Bridge (Image Source: WLOX News)Bethanie Jones, 27, was severely injured in a car accident on Popps Ferry Road Bridge (Image Source: WLOX News)

    Two years ago, Bethanie Jones was involved in a crash on the Popp’s Ferry Bridge that would change her life. Monday, the driver that hit her pleaded guilty to DUI causing death or disfigurement.

    More >>

    Two years ago, Bethanie Jones was involved in a crash on the Popp’s Ferry Bridge that would change her life. Monday, the driver that hit her pleaded guilty to DUI causing death or disfigurement.

    More >>
  • Rain puts Pascagoula's new football turf on the clock

    Rain puts Pascagoula's new football turf on the clock

    Monday, July 24 2017 10:44 PM EDT2017-07-25 02:44:54 GMT
    Rain has slowed down construction crews as they attempt to put a new field turf at War Memorial Stadium (Photo Source: WLOX News Now)Rain has slowed down construction crews as they attempt to put a new field turf at War Memorial Stadium (Photo Source: WLOX News Now)

    The Pascagoula Panthers open the 2017 football season on the road. In fact, their first three games are road contests. That scheduling quirk may give field turf crews just enough time to get War Memorial Stadium ready for the September 8 home opener. The wet weather in South Mississippi is placing quite the burden on construction workers as they attempt to complete stadium renovations. The project was suppose to be finished before the beginning of Pascagoula's football season.

    More >>

    The Pascagoula Panthers open the 2017 football season on the road. In fact, their first three games are road contests. That scheduling quirk may give field turf crews just enough time to get War Memorial Stadium ready for the September 8 home opener. The wet weather in South Mississippi is placing quite the burden on construction workers as they attempt to complete stadium renovations. The project was suppose to be finished before the beginning of Pascagoula's football season.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly