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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    For your weekend cabbie, life isn’t getting any easier

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    Noelle Haro-Gomez / Arizona Daily Wildcat

    The SunLink Tucson Modern Streetcar project will ultimately serve as an efficient transportation service throughout the Fourth Avenue and Tucson downtown area. But for now, the project’s construction is causing many parking and transportation issues, especially for cab companies.

    Neal Hoover, of Tucson Taxi Services, expressed his frustrations with the ongoing difficulty of parking anywhere without receiving citations from ParkWise, a program run through the city which manages resident and non-resident on street permit parking programs. ParkWise has made it almost impossible to temporarily park within the perimeters of Tucson’s most popular night life establishments according to Hoover, giving tickets of $188 on a regular basis for cabs waiting near the establishments for pick-up calls.

    The construction is taking over the majority of cab drivers’ usual parking spots, giving them no place to park and unload. This dilemma has been heavily affecting Tucson cab companies since the beginning of the summer, leaving drivers with no other choice but to park illegally, leading to regular citations and extremely expensive tickets. Cab drivers have made a conscious effort not to park in front of fire hydrants, red zones or handicap spaces, but they are still being penalized for unavoidably parking illegaly. $188 for a parking ticket is bad enough for one citation, but cab drivers, according to Hoover, have been receiving them on multiple occasions.

    “If this problem continues I won’t be around here for much longer,” Hoover said. The prospects of the parking situation improving do not seem to be in favor of Tucson’s cab companies, as the construction will continue into next year.

    Not only are cab drivers being charged for parking illegally, but their demand for business is declining as well.

    “Our income has been cut in half in comparison to last year’s revenue,” Hoover said.

    Hoover has previously contacted ParkWise asking to schedule a brainstorming meeting to remedy the problem, however ParkWise has not yet yielded any leeway in parking restraints. If there are no improvements Hoover plans on calling a meeting between Tucson cab companies to propose certain ideas that could benefit their businesses.

    “I’ve drawn up a preliminary plan of action that we can submit to the city board as far as a remedy to this,” Hoover said. His plan is to ask the city and business owners of O’Malley’s, The Rec, The District, Gentle Ben’s, Mahoney’s and Dirtbags for two parking spots per business that cab companies can make into a taxi stand from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.

    Hoover said he hopes this proposition will help diminish the Tucson cab companies’ ongoing parking complications and restore their pre-construction success.

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