NEW ORLEANS, LA— Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, City Officials and the City of New Orleans Taxicab and For-Hire Bureau congratulated the awardees of new Certificates of Public Necessity and Convenience (CPNC).
Watch video of the Mayor's meeting with CPNC awardees here.
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.
“I am extremely excited to join these men and women who are hardworking ambassadors for our city. We put out a call for CPNC applications to be able to create small business opportunities for these drivers and companies,” said Mayor Landrieu. "As we remain committed to having safe and dependable taxicab service in New Orleans, we are honored to be able to issue these CPNCs.”
“It is rewarding to see after working for three years with the administration and City Council, the taxicab industry, hospitality industry leaders and our residents that hardworking individuals will benefit from the improvements made to upgrade and professionalize the taxicab industry,” said District C Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer. “This new complement of CPNC holders will further enhance our city by building wealth and equity in the taxicab industry.”
The awarding of these CPNCs will benefit longtime 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."
Mayor Landrieu also congratulated Pablo Montoya, who has been driving a taxicab in New Orleans for nearly 3 years. Mr. Montoya purchased a 2012 Toyota Sienna in line with reforms, but he did not hold his own CPNC. Mr. Montoya said that the issuance of the new CPNCs has allowed him "economic freedom and the ability to create a small business."
City code requires that CPNCs be in the name of the registered owner of the vehicle. The issuances 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.”
75 of the new CPNC’s will be awarded to driver’s who have financed vehicles in their own names, but are not currently CPNC holders. 25 CPNCs will be awarded to existing taxicab companies.
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