BILOXI, Miss. – Taxi companies and limousine services are
scrambling to meet new city of Biloxi requirements – and
also some old ones – for licensing.
The city recently passed new regulations for cars for hire
and stepped up enforcement of older ones, including annual
yearly inspections and a requirement that all cabs
belonging to the same company be the same color and have
the same graphics.
Last week, a Biloxi police officer went to Beau Rivage, a
popular spot for taxis and limousines, and began taking
pictures of vehicles that didn't have inspection stickers.
Cabs and limousines have been packing the city's garage
ever since, trying to pass inspection so they can still
During an inspection, the city makes sure the meter is
working properly and also checks for safety hazards.
"The first thing a person sees when they visit the city is
the cabdriver," said Councilman George Lawrence. "We didn't
want someone coming here from Indiana and taking a cab from
the airport to Biloxi and the fare is $195."
The city passed a series of recent ordinances, including
increasing the base fare from $1.50 to $2, clarifying
insurance requirements and defining the difference between
a taxi and a limousine. The new regulations take effect
"We want the safe operation of cabs in this city for the
taxpayers and the tourists," said Police Chief Bruce
Livery Cab & Sedan, in a written statement, said tourists
and people who depend on cabs to navigate the city,
including the elderly and Keesler Air Force military staff,
may have to wait longer to get a cab in coming weeks.
"Although we feel like it is troublesome and costly, we are
complying with the city of Biloxi's decision," the
Earl Craft, director of operations for Gulf Coast Checker
Cab, said it was time for the city to enforce its rules.
"The city is finally enforcing their own regulations, so
it's creating havoc for those who were not running by the
letter of the law," Craft said. "There are some
organizations that have never received a certificate of
When the new regulations take effect, there will be more
problems, Craft said.
He said Biloxi, Gulfport and the Biloxi-Gulfport
International Airport have separate rules and regulations
For example, he said Gulfport does not require cabs of the
same company to be of the same color, nor does it require
"We're in a situation now where Gulfport has not followed
suit with Biloxi and now we're going to have an increase in
fare in Biloxi but not in Gulfport," Craft said. "The truth
is, there needs to be a single entity to set down rules. In
New Orleans, there is just one board."