2nd cab company says it will seek permit

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 12, 2003

[6/11/03]A person associated with Rocket Cab, one of two Vicksburg taxi operators who failed to pass a city inspection last week, said Tuesday the business will meet the requirements.

Members of the city’s transportation board responded that Rocket Taxicab Company will be certified as soon as the criteria are met.

“We’re going to comply with the ordinance,” said Geraldine Bell, who identified herself as an independent contractor with Rocket. “It’s as simple as that.”

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After last week’s annual inspection, a question remained of whether Rocket and another company, Red Top, would be allowed to reapply for another year. Both reportedly operate one cab each.

In a long and wide-ranging meeting, committee chairman James Stirgus Jr. insisted that the company vehicle pass inspection and that proof of liability insurance be shown.

“We’re working with the insurance company to do what the city requires,” said Joseph Williams, Rocket Taxicab Company’s manager.

Rocket did not have proof of coverage on the June 3 inspection day and suspended operation. The company provided proof of a policy the following day, but it was good for 30 days. The city’s ordinance states that the City Clerk’s Office must be notified of cancellation within 30 days, and because the policy was only for 30 days, Rocket Taxicab’s was unacceptable.

Cabs in Vicksburg formerly posted $5,000 bonds for property damage or injury claims. Several years ago, an ordinance was passed requiring the state minimum coverage of $25,000. A new ordinance raised required insurance to a minimum of $75,000 for injury or death and $150,000 for each accident and for damage to property.

J&B Cab Company was issued permits for seven cars. The third company, believed to operate from one vehicle, did not seek certification, and its owner, Bill Williams, could not be reached.

The transportation committee was created to review taxi prices and standards which are set by city ordinance. Meters are now required and uniform colors will be in January 2004.