Savannah cabs face new St. Patrick's plan and competition - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah taxi companies face new St. Patrick's Day plan and competition

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Some taxi cab companies in Savannah are not happy with changes in how they can operate this St. Patrick's Day.

The elimination of taxi stands this year has raised eyebrows. If you want a cab, you need to go to Broughton Street.

The calls started coming in almost immediately from cab drivers, not impressed with that plan at all. They say gridlock and traffic jams are one thing. The logjam of cars and trucks will happen anyway next Friday and Saturday, either way, they say. However, they also claim it opens the door for rogue taxi cabs and shuttle vans, most illegal, which are not permitted or inspected by the city, or insured for that matter.

City officials say they may have some work to do.

"If we have a rogue taxi out we will have inspectors out on the street watching for that and prepared for that," Veleeta McDonald, Savannah Parking and Mobility Services, "We may just go ahead and legitimize them so to speak if they are actually caught."

Rogue taxis and shuttles could be fined up to $750 by the city. If you do use a taxi, ask to see the driver's permit. The company name should be displayed so get all the information and a phone number before you take off.

While taxi cabs have to go to Broughton Street, the taxi companies may have new competition in the form of a new business who comes to you and drives your car home for you. Savannah's Designated Driver opened last week, hoping to give the taxi industry a run for their money next weekend.

"They can have their car parked in their drive way in the morning. They don't have to try to find their car downtown. They don't run the risk of a parking ticket, get their car vandalized or towed," Brian Stafford, owner of Savannah's Designated Driver, told WTOC. "It's safely parked in their driveway the next morning."

Like the taxi companies, Stafford says Savannah's Designated Driver is insured, their driver's have background checks and most are former military or firefighters. They are also bonded. Stafford says you can find his company easily on Facebook.

The city urges you to go to their website and check out the rules and regulations for legitimate taxi services before you plan out your festival weekend. Write down names and numbers for any business you plan on using.


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