May 30, 2013
Local taxi company Yellow Cab has signed a contract with the owner of the parking lot connected to the Amtrak station to only allow Yellow Cab taxis to pick up there.
The parking lot now has four reserved spaces for Yellow Cab only.
"The main thing is they're trying to keep as many people out of here as possible." says Norm Gallimore of Norm's Taxi Service. "You're taking away a person's choice, ability to choose which company they want to use."
Norm's Taxi Service and other companies are worried Yellow Cab will leave them with no business at all if this trend continues.
"It's clear he is trying to put all of us smaller guys out of business," Gallimore said.
On May 3rd the signs were put up in the Amtrak parking lot and local hotels have also contracted with Yellow Cab.
Comfort Inn University and Residence Inn have confirmed a partnership with Yellow Cab/Anytime Taxi.
In a letter to all Yellow Cab drivers, owner Mark Brown says the he anticipates signing up virtually all the hotels in the area.
Melvin Carter Sr., who started Carter's Taxi Service nearly 50 years ago says there never used to be hostility between cab drivers and he never thought he'd see something like this happen in Charlottesville.
"We used to all be friends and help each other, I can't believe this is going on now," Carter said.
His son, Melvin Carter Jr., is honored to be working with his father after growing up with the company.
"I hand delivered a letter to City Manager Maurice Jones about this because what Yellow Cab is doing is against the law," Carter Jr. said.
Deputy City Attorney Richard Harris said he received that letter from Jones and is now researching if it is allowed. The parking lot is privately owned but since it is at the train station, it's for public use which might change regulations.
"If you've taken a ride from Yellow Cab before and didn't like it, you should have the right to choose another one the next time" Gallimore said. "But now you can't."