Two Mississippi taxi cab drivers are suing the city of Jackson. They say restrictive regulations make starting their own business difficult. MPB's Maura Moed reports.
To operate a taxi company, a person must be a Mississippi resident for six months prior to applying and have a Jackson business license, an office in Jackson staffed 24 hours a day, and at least eight vehicles.
John Davis is a former taxi driver who left the taxi industry because of frustration from the regulations. He says he wants to start a taxi company with his business partner, Shad Denson.
"Both of us have been driving for a long time, and we've known each other for years. We've pounded these streets and worked for the citizens of Jackson. All we want is a fair chance," Davis says.
However, Davis and Denson's attempt to start a taxi business failed, which prompted both men to file a lawsuit.
Attorney Mike Hurst says the regulations protect existing cab companies from new competitors.
"The review committee that approved new taxi cab companies included the traditional taxi cab companies on that review committee. So I as the business, get to approve whether my competitors come into the market or not. Thank goodness Jackson changed that, but we need them to change more so that my clients' constitutional rights aren't violated," says Hurst.
Hurst says he will ask the Hinds County Chancery Court to find the regulations unconstitutional.
We reached out to the city, but no one was available.