Taxi Drivers Not Happy Uber is In Midland

Taxi Drivers Not Happy Uber is In Midland

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Uber has made its way to Tall City but some taxi drivers in Midland aren't too happy to see their new competition. The city says there's no need to worry, they're planing on leveling the playing field.

"We're going to work on both sides and make sure it's as level as we possibly can make it from a government standpoint and then we're going to let the free market system go into place," said Midland City Councilman J. Ross Lacy.

Some taxi drivers told NewsWest9, with Uber now in the Tall City, business has taken a downturn.

"Here lately, ever since they came in, our call volume used to be around 25 calls a day and it got reduced down to nothing. No calls coming in," said Daniel King, a local taxi driver.

"A little competition is good for the market place," said Lacy.

That's not their only frustration. The taxi drivers say it's not fair they have to follow an ordinance while Uber does not.

"Why is Uber still operating in this town when we don't have an ordinance," said King.

The taxi drivers went before the Midland City Council earlier this week to get answer.

"We are working diligently right now on the ordinance," said Lacy.

The City Council says it just takes time.

"We've just got to wrap our hands around this and get an ordinance in place and it's just not something you can just amend and put in a paragraph in your current ordinance and include them into it," said Lacy.

"We have worked closely with cities across the state of Texas to develop regulations that embrace the new industry of ride-sharing and we look forward to doing the same in Midland," said a spokesperson for Uber.

"Once we update our ordinance to include them, well then they will have to abide by it. They will have to pay a fee like the taxi companies do," said Lacy.

The Midland City Council says taxi drivers shouldn't worry but Uber is a good thing for the Tall City.

"By having more options out there like Uber, it's giving people options. it's keeping people from drinking and driving and making our roads safer," said Lacy.

The Midland City Council is planning to put this issue on their agenda by early October.