Hello folks, I wanted to touch base regarding the news story that aired on WJTV Friday, December 4th, 2015, regarding Uber.
The cab driver in the interview was complaining that Uber drivers was taking money out of his pocket by picking up at the airport. As it stands since July 8th 2015, Uber drivers are not allowed to pick up passengers from any property under JMAA authority according to a cease and desist letter that was sent to Uber. Regarding picking up passengers from the airport, Uber has informed me that it is at the drivers' discretion whither or not to pick up passengers from the airport. As at other places around the country, that hasn't reached an agreement with Uber regarding drivers picking up passengers, Uber Support stated that Uber will cover any fees accrued by drivers from picking up passengers. However, drivers are allowed to drop off passengers and there are drivers slipping on to the property and picking up passengers.
The technology, that Uber has developed, allows passengers to request a ride. When a passenger marks a pick up location, the closest, available driver receives the notification. The driver can choose to accept the request or ignore it, where in that case, the request will go to the next available driver. So, Uber drivers doesn't have to sit idly at the airport like taxis currently does. And in my opinion, it isn't necessary for taxis to take up space at the airport since they can be dispatched by radio just as easily as an uber driver can be summoned through the mobile app. If taxi drivers doesn't like the current fees that the airport charges, stay away from the airport. Not to be unavailable or "loose money" as the cab driver elegantly put it, but let enough passengers complain because there's not enough transportation immediately available that the airport will be forced to take action to rectify the situation.
Back on that taxi driver that was on the news. He stated that he paid $700 for insurance for the cab he drives. That statement was completely false and utterly a lie. I have priced commercial insurance for a taxi and was quoted prices between $240 through $360. In Mississippi, vehicle registration for a taxi is only $20 more than regular consumer registration. The Jackson Airport imposes an annual permit fee of $100 to commercial owners and $40 per month vehicle licensing. Commercial drivers licenses cost $44 and the passenger endorsement is $5 in Mississippi. All these numbers can be verified by viewing the Ground Transportation Rules and Regulations from the JMAA which also includes the application for drivers. Insurance premiums can be verified by contacting underwriters other than those that necessarily recide in Mississippi and CDL fees can be verified by contacting a local Commercial Drivers License bureau.
I actually agree with the City of Jackson proposing Uber drivers be required to obtain a commercial license, specific vehicle registration, yearly vehicle inspections, and lastly drug testing. The City of Jackson, to my knowledge, isn't trying to stifle drivers and prevent Uber from operating. The city is trying to help provide safe, reliable transportation to residents and would rather drivers not be rogue, stoned drivers in cars that are falling apart while attempting to do so.
If the rules and regulations that the city imposes are passed, they will not come as a surprise to me because I have taxi registration on my vehicle, commercial insurance, possess a Class A CDL with multiple endorsements including passenger, and I do not use drugs of any kind recreationally.
So get ready Uber Drivers, Jackson is culling the herd! Using Uber, Jatran, or a cab from one of the 5 cab companies is the customer's choice and no one can take that right away from the consumer.
Taxi driver: Uber is taking all the customers away from taxi drivers | WJTV.com
It's been nearly a year since Uber has hit the streets of Jackson. Some taxi drivers say money is slipping away from them as more people are dialing for an Uber. Manuel Johnson has been picking and dropping off passengers for the past two years, but he says Uber has taken customers from him.