Taxi companies not happy about new ordinance with the South Bend - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Taxi companies not happy about new ordinance with the South Bend International Airport

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Many people go to and from the South Bend Airport every day. To get there, some rely on a cab.

New policies go into effect Tuesday, July 1, for cab companies who contract with the airport. Many aren't happy about the changes. So much so they actually threatened to stop doing business at the airport. Six cab companies have contracts with the South Bend Airport. Because of new rules going into place, they said they wouldn't do business, but one cab company pulled out of the strike and therefore, the others followed-suit.

Travelers won't have to worry, there will be cab service at the airport Tuesday, but most cab companies say they agreed to the terms, kicking and screaming.

"If they do not contract with them then, per the ordinance, they can't pick up or drop off at the airport," says Kerry Clear with Blue Ribbon Taxi.

That's the biggest problem cab companies like Blue Ribbon Taxi say they have with the new ordinance. The fact that they have to sign an agreement even if they're just dropping off or picking up, not waiting in line for business.

Joventino Naval III with Yellow Cab says, "Now that I don't want to sign a contract with these guys, they're gonna tell me, 'hey, you're not allowed to come in or out of our airport. And I'm still trying to figure out, 'when did South Bend become a private airport?'"

Julie Curtis with the South Bend Airport says the new ordinance updates decades-old rules with only two major changes: cab companies must have liability insurance and sign an agreement to operate at the airport.

Curtis says it's all about making travelers happy, "That way we know who's doing business here and if we do have complaints we know who to get to. It's all for improved customer service." Curtis says, the happier customers are, the more business cab companies will get.

Curtis adds the airport told cab companies six months ago that changes were coming and asked for input. "We really didn't hear any formal feedback from any of them. We did submit 30 days ago to them the new rules and regulations and a few of them have waited until today to provide their feedback," she says.

Cab companies say they didn't know what their grievances would be until they saw a list of proposed rules. They say 30 days wasn't enough time to review.

Clear says he'll continue to discuss the issue with the airport and see if there could be any negotiating in the future.

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