Wichita Falls City Council voted to keep one cab company rolling. Councilors unanimously granted a five-year franchise to Wichita Star Taxi.
Wichita Star and owner Claudio Ramirez Jr. were granted a temporary, six-month franchise last August. Wichita Star was born out of the troubled All American Cab Company which had numerous complaints over service issues.
Wichita Falls Director of Aviation, Traffic and Transportation John Burrus said Wichita Star has been conducting business well in the last six months. He added, communication between Wichita Star and the city has been great. "It's our goal to work with them," Burrus said, "and hopefully continue that trend."
But, there were some concerns over the franchise. Former City Councilor Charles Elmore asked city council to consider granting only a one-year franchise, citing past problems. Mayor Glenn Barham issued a warning to both Falls cab companies: "The enforcement is gonna be there," he said, "that might have been a little lax in the past."
Mayor Barham was referring to the city's new taxi cab ordinance set to take effect Jan. 20. Burrus said the new ordinance gives the city more teeth when it comes to enforcement. Burrus cited more civil penalties for infractions and the city's plan to conduct surprise inspections of the cab companies.
In all, city leaders expect the new franchise and the new ordinance will help Falls cab customers experience a higher level of customer service.