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Cab companies get reprieve on moving stands

June 19, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — During the main drag of a four-hour-long meeting, the City Council here listened to two owners of this city's three taxi cab companies, who strongly voiced their opposition to any possibility the council would move the city's taxi stands.

The council was considering moving the stands from the corner of Rockwood Avenue and First Street, in front of Selwicks, to the spot where the Heffernan Avenue bus depot is located.

After more than two hours of discussion on the subject, the council took no action on the proposed plan to move the taxi stands to the depot.

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That plan had been drafted by Police Chief Mario Sanchez.

City staffers will bring back some revised plans to move the taxi stands after completing a traffic study and attending another meeting with the affected taxi cab company owners.

Explaining his plan at the start of the discussion, Sanchez told the council moving the taxis to the spot where the depot is now would keep the city's buses circulating and ease congestion at the corner of First and Rockwood.

Michael Lowen, the owner of Calexico Taxi and Border Cab, and Juan Lopez, the owner of the city's Yellow Cab — who were referred to as "los dos dueños" by members of the public — told the council to leave the taxis where they were and give them more spaces to park while they were at it.

Lowen and Lopez said their customers expect to cross the border and have a cab waiting for them.

Jordana Selwick, of Selwicks, said she supports the city's taxi drivers.

The sentiment was popular as more than a dozen taxi drivers stood along the back wall of the council chambers carrying picket signs which declared they had a right to earn a living.

Selwick said she didn't support the "dueños" though because the owners of the taxi cab companies charge their drivers up to $60 a day to lease a cab.

Selwick said the leasing arrangements force the cabbies to double park and aggressively pursue fares.

Those speaking in support of the taxi companies said moving the taxi stands to the depot would cause hardship on the companies and fail to solve the problem of traffic downtown.

They said any business arrangements involving the cab companies and their drivers were private issues.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or aclaverie@aol.com

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