New airport taxi rules go into effect October 1

Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport starter will help regulate new rules (Image Source: WLOX News)
Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport starter will help regulate new rules (Image Source: WLOX News)
Airport Authority meets to finalize ground transportation rules. (Image Source: WLOX News)
Airport Authority meets to finalize ground transportation rules. (Image Source: WLOX News)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Some heavily talked about changes will go into effect at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, on October 1. On Tuesday, the airport authority finalized the rate map, which was the last step for the airport authority, before the new rules and regulations take effect.

For months, airport officials have been working on these new policies to make for a better customer transportation experience, but it has caused taxi drivers much frustration.

Leisa Leisy is the president of the Gulf Coast Taxi Association. She has been outspoken about some of the rules the airport authority has been trying to set, but she feels confident they are finally seeing eye to eye.

"I'm happy to see them working with the industry for a change. That is our biggest victory, to communicate," said Leisy.

One of the major changes in question was a new rate map. Airport executive director, Clay Williams, says that regulating rates for popular customer destinations like the casinos was very important.

"We worked with the Gulf Coast Taxi Association and some of their officers. So we were able to come up with a good solution that's going to be good for the passengers, good for the taxi industry," said Williams.

According to Williams, 90 percent of the time when someone flies into the airport they're going to one of the 26 destinations on the map, and setting a flat rate for all drivers makes it where there are no surprises for airport customers.

"There's no guess work anymore. When you get into a taxi, they're going to know what they're going to pay. It's not well this meter may say this and this meter says that," said Williams.

Other changes taking place include requiring all drivers to have credit card readers, and an annual pass to get on both the Seabee and Keesler Air Force bases.

"We're going to have airport staff to work with the taxi drivers making sure everybody is familiar with the new map and understands the new process and protocol," said Williams.

As for the drivers, Leisy says they will hold each other accountable.

"You can't make bad people be good. So there's no controlling everything because of making rules, but we are certainly going to try to police each other," said Leisy.

Williams says there will be some sort of a grace period for drivers who do not have all of these compliances by Wednesday. They will work with those drivers to help them become compliant.

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