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State of Kentucky

Bill 5 - AN ACT
relating to the transportation of persons for hire.

SB 5 (BR 112) - E. Scorsone, J. Rose

AN ACT relating to the transportation of persons for hire.

Create a new section of KRS Chapter 281 to require all motor vehicles operating under a taxicab license or limousine license to undergo an annual safety inspection conducted by a technician with an a.s.e. certification; permit the Department of Vehicle Regulation to develop out-of-service criteria for vehicles that fail the safety inspection; permit the department to revoke and permanently deny a license for filing fraudulent safety inspection information; create a new section of KRS Chapter 281 to clarify that only one (1) license is required regardless of how many taxicabs or limousines an owner has in a fleet; amend KRS 281.010 to define "taxicab license" and "limousine license"; amend KRS 281.011 to exclude taxicabs and limousines from definitions of "common carrier," "irregular route common carrier," and "contract carrier"; amend KRS 281.014 to delete references to city and county taxicab and limousine certificates; define "taxicab license" and "limousine license" to mean limited regulation by the Transportation Cabinet for safety and insurance purposes and prohibit requiring a certificate of necessity to operate a taxicab or limousine; permit a person with a taxicab or limousine license to transport disabled persons under the taxicab or limousine license without obtaining further permits or certificates of necessity; amend KRS 281.615 to require a person to obtain a state license to operate a taxicab or limousine; amend KRS 281.6185 to clarify that taxicabs and limousines may transport disabled persons who do not need specialized equipment if they comply with federal ADA requirements; amend KRS 281.620, 281.650, 281.655, 281.656, 281.660, 281.670, 281.675, 281.680, 281.720, 281.728, 281.990, and 431.451 to conform; repeal KRS 211.9523, 281.637, 281.6602, 281.804, and 281.806.

(Prefiled by the sponsor(s))

Jan 4, 2000-introduced in Senate
Jan 5, 2000-to Transportation (S)

(Lexington, KY, USA)
2 Feb 2000



End cab monopolies

In Lexington, there is no competition in cab service. In Louisville, where some competition exists, there is a stranglehold on the number of cabs that can operate.

Both situations are perpetuated by a state law that protects monopolies on cab services and stifles competition. The law, which dates to the 1930s, is cumbersome and out-of-step with the current climate to deregulate businesses and give them more rein.

State Sen. Ernesto Scorsone, D-Lexington, is sponsoring a bill that, as amended, could lower some of the state-imposed barriers to new cab companies and ones that want to expand. The bill ran into some opposition last week from rural members of the Senate Transportation Committee, and, not surprisingly, from existing cab companies, but that shouldn't deter legislators from at least giving Lexington and Louisville more autonomy and lessening the state's regulatory power over taxis.

Consumers in both cities have chronic complaints about the poor quality of cab service. The companies don't respond promptly or at all; the cabs and drivers are dirty; they have refused to answer calls in certain parts of the cities.

In Lexington, not only does just one company own all of the cab services but also the city sets no limit on rates.

The state law, as it is now written, doesn't serve consumers. Getting a competing taxi license is like trying to drive an obstacle course backward.

Ask Terry Curry of Nicholasville, who has spent thousands of dollars on legal fees and tried for five years to get a state license to compete with United Transportation, which continues to have a lock on cab service in Lexington.

Ask Bill White of Louisville, who has so far spent a year in the hearing process to add one cab to his tiny company.

Most states no longer control the cab market and have nothing close to Kentucky's convoluted law.

Government has a legitimate interest in regulating cabs to some extent: that they are safely operated and maintained, that rates and service are fair, that owners and drivers are legitimate. But when a government, for all practical purposes, gives an exclusive right to a company, it should be strictly limited to utilities, such as water or electricity. Surely, Lexington is big enough by now to support more than one cab company.

It's time for Kentucky to revamp its taxi law and give greater competition a try.

(Lexington, KY, USA)
28 Jan 2000


FRANKFORT -- A bill that would deregulate the taxi industry in Kentucky hit some speed bumps in a legislative committee yesterday.

The goal of Senate Bill 5 is to eliminate cab monopolies and introduce more competition into taxi markets, especially in Lexington and Louisville, said Sen. Ernesto Scorsone, D-Lexington, who sponsored the bill.

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