NEW ORLEANS, LA— Today, the City of New Orleans Taxicab and For-Hire Bureau announced that it has awarded 100 new Certificates of Public Necessity and Convenience (CPNC) to taxicab drivers and companies.
In December 2012, the City announced that it would accept applications for new CPNCs. This new opportunity was created to give drivers who have not previously held CPNCs a chance to secure one. The hope is that this creates income opportunities for taxicab drivers to become small business entrepreneurs.
“As we remain committed to having safe and accessible taxicab service in New Orleans, we are honored to be able to issue these CPNCs,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “These CPNCs will create a new group of owners and reward the entrepreneurial spirit that drives commerce in our city.”
“After working for almost three years with the administration, the taxicab industry, hospitality industry leaders and our residents, it is rewarding to see the fruits of our labor reward not just our visitors and residents, but hardworking individuals will benefit from the improvements made to taxicab standards,” said District C Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer. “This new complement of drivers will be good for the industry and good for the City. We have worked to upgrade and professionalize the industry and this step enhances our efforts.”
City code requires that CPNCs be in the name of the registered owner of the vehicle. The issuance of the new CPNCs will not only open the door for those drivers interested in acquiring CPNCs, but it will also reward individuals with vehicles that meet recently passed taxicab standards.
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, created accessible taxis for those with disabilities, improved driver and CPNC holder standards, and improved industry and permitting regulations.
“We are extremely happy to award these CPNCs to some of New Orleans’ most important ambassadors –for hire drivers,” said Malachi Hull, Director of the City of New Orleans Taxicab and For-Hire Bureau. “This opportunity allows these hard working men and women to be rewarded for providing both essential and valuable service to the visitors, citizens, and workers of our great city. We are excited about the future of our taxicab industry.”
Drivers who have financed vehicles in their own names, but are not currently CPNC holders will be awarded 75 of the new CPNC’s. Existing taxicab companies will be awarded 25 of the new CPNCs.
The awarding of these CPNCs will benefit drivers like Sam Porter. Mr. Porter has driven a cab in New Orleans for 47 years. He has been seeking a CPNC since 1966.
"I have been driving in this city since the Victor Schiro administration," said Sam Porter. “I am excited that I am finally able to have my name on my own CPNC. My hat goes off to the Landrieu administration, the Taxicab bureau and Malachi Hull."
Mr. Porter who says that he doesn't consider himself a cab driver, but a "transportation specialist and an ambassador for the city," is elated that his "dream is finally coming true."
In the application process, the Taxicab and For-Hire Bureau considered the age of vehicles, parish of domicile of the applicant, length of industry service, alternative fuel vehicles, accessible vehicles, and complaint/violation history when awarding the CPNCs.
In accordance with City ordinance, CPNCs are required for all for hire vehicles, which include: taxicabs, pedicabs, animal drawn, courtesy, limousine, non-emergency medical transportation, general charter, and sightseeing. These regulations are in place to ensure that every City of New Orleans citizen and visitor has access to safe, efficient, reliable, and accessible for hire transportation.