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The City of New Orleans

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

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Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds City's taxicab reforms; agrees that CNPC's are privileges

December 18, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA- Today, a panel of Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals judges ruled in the City’s favor on three consolidated lawsuits filed by taxicab companies and CPNC holders regarding the lawfulness of the City’s taxicab reform package. 

“Today’s ruling and the reforms that it upheld is consistent with common sense and the practical needs of the City, the taxi industry and its customers, and we will continue our efforts to create a world class taxicab industry in New Orleans,” Mayor Landrieu said. “This is a win for the residents, businesses and visitors of New Orleans, who deserve clean, reliable, and accessible taxicab service. “

The court held that a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPNC) is a privilege and not a right.

“Today is an exciting day for the future of transportation in New Orleans.  For years our residents and visitors have asked for improvements in the for-hire industry, but weak legal arguments were perceived as road blocks to achieving better standards," said District C Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer.  "Today’s U.S. Fifth Circuit Court decision will further the reforms that the administration and the City Council have made in setting higher standards in the for-hire industry.  Everyone will benefit from riders being better served and therefore satisfied customers. “

“We are pleased that today’s ruling allows us to move forward with these reforms,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Michelle L. Thomas. “This allows us to continue our commitment to enhancing transportation options for those who live in and visit New Orleans.”

In April of 2012, the City Council passed sweeping taxicab reforms recommended by the Landrieu Administration and Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer. The reforms have already improved vehicle standards, improved driver and CPNC holder standards, and improved industry and permitting regulations.  

To date, over 950 taxicabs have come into compliance. It is expected that most taxicabs will be in compliance by the 2013 Super Bowl.

The reform package includes improvements for passengers, drivers and CPNC holders.

By early 2013, passengers can expect:

  • Cabs with common-sense vehicle age limits and a prohibition on salvaged and junked vehicles;
  • the ability to pay fares with credit or debit card;
  • taximeter receipts with detailed information;
  • cabs equipped with GPS technology
  • tougher inspections and vehicle safety standards;
  • improved safety requirements including one seatbelt per passenger;
  • tougher ethical standards for taxis and the Taxicab and For Hire Bureau; and
  • the creation of a dedicated fleet of handicap-accessible cabs.

Drivers and CPNC holders also got wins, including:

  • Driver safety cameras and silent alarms;
  • taxicab lines minimums have been reduced to 25 taxis, allowing smaller groups to increase competition and grow wealth;
  • accessible taxi CPNCs are limited to non-CPNC holding taxi drivers of at least 5 years;
  • driver permit term length will remain 2 years;
  • CPNC annual fees will remain the same;
  • no increase in the transfer and processing fees for CPNCs;
  • the ability for local government to conduct background checks to improve customer service; and
  • more flexibility for temporary CPNCs for special needs.
 
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Last updated: 12/18/2012 5:01:07 PM

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