Taxicab Policy Brief 0809-02
20 August 09
- Cameron Sasnett
- Cade Cypriano
This report was written by undergraduate students at Loyola University New Orleans under the direction of Professor Peter F. Burns.
Throughout the United States, and even the world, regulation of safe and reliable ground transportation within urban areas helps maintain a stable traffic flow and address the satisfaction of the citizens who rely upon the transportation system. Traditionally, an operator’s entry into the taxicab portion of this system has been regulated and restricted by municipal governments to provide a fair and balanced arrangement that is both capable of handling cities’ needs as well as being profitable for the operators.
Recently, citizens in New Orleans asked whether the city’s taxicab regulation system provides safe and reliable service. New Orleans regulates issuance of operational permits for taxicabs. The city provides operators with a license known as Certificates of Public Necessity and Convenience (CPNC). Most cities similar to New Orleans utilize a formula, based on a number of factors such as population, vehicle ownership, and other transportation variables to derive a specific number of taxicabs. Similar cities also regularly evaluate these numbers to ensure that a sufficient number of taxis are available throughout the city. Currently, New Orleans does not have such a system in place and as a result, it maintains an overabundance of nearly 1,100 taxicab permits, or 67% of its current licenses. This over-saturation of taxicabs created a system that forces taxi operators to battle for the most convenient fares instead of focusing on providing services throughout the city.
Specific considerations should be accounted for New Orleans’ allotment of CPNCs: since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans’ population and tourism levels have deflated and increased without a reexamination of the appropriate number of operational permits issued each year. Prior to Katrina, New Orleans sustained a tremendous reduction in its residential population. In addition to New Orleans’ population changes, the city faces CPNC reduction strategy challenges. Currently, city legislation allows permit holders to leverage their cityowned licenses for monetary loans. New Orleans should prohibit the monetary leveraging of CPNCs. Prohibition of the allowance of the value-based transfers will help the city to regain control of the CPNCs present in the city. In addition to an overhaul of the CPNC process, New Orleans should continue to enforce legislation present in the ground transportation section of its code of ordinances, and seek to be a leader in the field of urban, for-hire, ground-transportation management.