Officials at Cape Girardeau City Hall want to make sure that people who use taxis in the city can rest assured that the vehicles they're driving in have been inspected and that the drivers are licensed, have been tested for drugs and have had background checks. The city council approved a first reading of a bill that would overhaul its taxi ordinance.
Before the city decides on any ordinance, it should hear from taxi operators. Most public transit (including taxis) options are provided by the Cape Girardeau County Transit Authority. There are few private taxi operations in town, which should have made it relatively easy for the city to contact those affected businesses. At last week's council session, the need to let taxi operators have a hand in any ordinance revisions was recognized, and those discussions will be held.
That's good, because prior to last week's meeting the owner of a shuttle company called Designated Driver, Tim Duffey, said he hadn't heard anything about the proposed ordinance change in advance.
Duffey appeared at the most recent council meeting and said the proposed changes would hurt his business. He asked the council to postpone further action, pending a review by taxi operators. The council did the right thing by waiting.
The city owes it to business owners to find out what impact council decisions will have on businesses before they pass new ordinances.