Taxi company curbed
A South Shore taxi company is prohibited from picking up passengers in South Lake Tahoe because it violated a new city ordinance.
Police Cmdr. Bart Owens issued a written decision Feb. 1 after a Jan. 26 hearing regarding alleged violations by Budget Chauffeur Driver. The company reportedly violated a portion of the ordinance relating to taxi color schemes.
“It is clear Budget has operated in violation of the city’s ordinance,” Owens wrote, warning that if Budget continues to operate in the city, the vehicles will be subject to towing and the company can be fined.
According to Jan. 26 testimony, Robert Fairman, who owns the corporation that owns Budget Chauffeur, bought Tahoe Keys Taxi when the Keys owner was forced out of the taxi business by the new city ordinance.
Marcel Mattingly, public service officer in charge of the taxi ordinance, mistakenly allowed Fairman to transfer the Tahoe Keys permit to Budget Chauffeur. The new city ordinance does not allow permits to be transferred.
Therefore, according to Owens, Budget Chauffeur had to apply for a permit as any other new taxi company would.
The city’s ordinance requires all taxis from one company to be painted white and blue.
When Fairman purchased Tahoe Keys Taxi, four taxis were included in the sale. The newly acquired taxis are maroon and white and do not match Budget Chauffeur’s city approved color scheme.
At the Jan. 26 hearing, Fairman told the police hearing board he needed time to raise the money to paint the taxis.
The cab company’s application was turned down and it will not be allowed to operate here until all vehicles in the fleet are appropriately painted and Budget Chauffeur can provide proof that the company did purchase the cabs from Tahoe Keys.
Should Budget Chauffeur continue to operate in South Lake Tahoe in violation of the ordinance, Owens said the city will file a complaint with El Dorado County Superior Court to compel Budget Chauffeur to comply with the city ordinance.
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