Taxi drivers argue a new age limit for cars picking up from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is hurting their profits--at a time when they're already facing steep competition from companies like Uber and Lyft.
The Atlanta City Council passed the seven-year-age limit for cabs serving the airport last fall. It went into place at the start of this year.
Since then, taxi industry representatives told city council members at a recent meeting some drivers haven't been working, because their cars don't meet the age requirement.
Rick Hewitt of Checker Cab said other drivers displaced by the airport rule are sticking to downtown, and that's also creating a problem. He said ride-hailing services are operating there and there are 1,600 cabs.
“You put all those together,” Hewitt said. “There's not enough business to keep everybody occupied and making a profit."
The city said it's been going back and forth with cab drivers for years over vehicle age requirements. The previous rule required taxis at the airport be no more than 10 years old.
City council members also emphasized the year they spent listening to stakeholders before crafting the legislation with the new age limit.
The city council plans to revisit the issue in a work session scheduled for Thursday.