Due to a failure by the Metro Transportation Licensing Commission to abide by public notice standards, a large group of local taxi operators weren’t given an answer on the status of new cab permits on Thursday.
After more than 90 minutes of discussion and public hearing from seven cab companies, the MTLC realized they didn’t give proper notice of the hearing, so to rectify the problem, commissioners voted to reset the public hearing on the issue for Aug. 23.
The commission will allow for a short question and answer session with the seven companies, as well as time for public comment at the August meeting. The MTLC also voted to make the Aug. 23 meeting their annual taxi public hearing.
Thursday’s meeting was resolve how many additional taxi cab permits the MTLC would extend — and who would receive the permits. Two driver-owned cab companies, Volunteer Taxi and Tenn Cab, are also attempting to receive approval.
The commission agreed to extend 61 permits to Volunteer Taxi last fall so long as the Metro budget included money to hire a new cab inspector. The funds weren’t included in Dean’s budget, so the MTLC said all of those permits are now back up for grabs.
The MTLC will also be tasked with deciding how many permits will be issued in order to accommodate the influx of visitors brought in by the Music City Center, which is set to open in May. At a meeting in November 2011, they settled on issuing 88 new permits , but now the number is up for discussion.
Overall, seven companies asked for more than 300 permits combined at the meeting on Thursday.