TKC EXCLUSIVE AND BREAKING NEWS!!! YELLOW CAB EXCLUSIVE DEAL AT DOWNTOWN MARRIOTT RAISES MORE KANSAS CITY TAXI ANTITRUST CONCERNS!!!
Consolidation in the local taxi business is drawing increased outcry from critics of Kansas City taxi juggernaut Yellow Cab.
To wit . . .
AN EXCLUSIVE DEAL BETWIXT YELLOW CAB AND THE DOWNTOWN MARRIOTT HAS OTHER TRANSIT PLAYERS WORRIED ABOUT A LOCAL TAXI MONOPOLY!!!
The deets are complicated but we'll try to get down to the basic facts:
- Behind the scenes Yellow Cab has secured a private and exclusive deal with the Downtown Marriott to handle their cab biz.
- Right now, Downtown Marriott is the 2nd biggest taxi stand in Kansas City proper (airport is 1st) and this deal is bigger than it might seem.
- Yellow Cab is winning cab exclusive deals at hotels throughout Downtown and Midtown and this has competition crying foul.
This has citywide impact . . . Remember that KCMO has been sued for enforcing a monopolistic system and cab rules and regs have been a constant source of debate among politicos as of late.
Taxi Industry expert Craig Bates goes on the record to explain the sitch: "This deal is the tipping point to a taxi monopoly in Kansas City and it's really a preview to Yellow Cab getting an exclusive deal with the airport as well. THAT will drive all the other taxi cab companies in this town out of business."
Mr. Bates is formerly of Checker Cab and recently had a somewhat less than amicable split with the company.
On the topic of how this impacts City Hall . . .
Craig Bates seyz: "The result of this deal will be that Yellow Cab will start to earn a market share of over 60% in Kansas City. It's written into the municipal code that no cab company can exceed that number but right now we're getting really close."
A note about local government control . . .
Craig Bates: "In a city that claims to foster industry and competition, what we have is a local government that has allowed and even encouraged a situation that's getting close to monopoly."
We talked to Yellow Cab honcho Bill George on this one, here's how he explains the deal: "Private business can choose companies they do business with. Just like a hotel selects a produce vendor, linen company, etc."
So, the argument here is that Yellow Cab is coming close to monopoly status and despite so much talk of encouraging Kansas City Biz, City Hall is either behind the curve in fostering a competitive atmosphere when it comes to transit in this town OR Yellow Cab and Bill George have simply navigated the local biz and political minefield more successfully than anybody else. You decide.
Developing . . .