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Department of Business and Industry
Nevada Taxicab Authority
Petition for Advisory Opinion of Nevada Taxicab Authority IN THE MATTER of the Petition of Randell S. Hynes, President of the United Taxicab Drivers Corporation for an application for Advisory Opinion pursuant to NAC 706.980 Consideration of applications concerning decisions of the Authority
) Docket No. ) ) ) ) ) )
COMES NOW Petitioner, Randell S. Hynes (“Hynes”), President of the United Taxicab Drivers Corporation chartered in the State of Nevada as a non-profit cooperative corporation, and hereby applies by Petition to the Nevada Taxicab Authority (“Authority”) for an Advisory Opinion concerning decisions of the Authority. This application for Petition for Advisory Opinion is made pursuant to NAC 706.980 Consideration of applications. In support of this Petition, Hynes states as follows: I. Petitioner Hynes is a former taxicab driver who commenced work as a taxicab advocate in October 2007. The United Taxicab Drivers Corporation was chartered to formalize his work of helping taxicab driver improve wages and working conditions. All correspondence can be mailed to Hynes’ current residence, or personal email address: Randell S. Hynes 6180 S. Torrey Pines Dr. Las Vegas, NV 89118 (702) 456-2899 email@example.com …
II. Exhibits and Key Indicators Hynes seeks the opinion of the Authority on whether decisions to increase the number of medallions deviated from a previously adopted standard, namely the allocation of medallions to maintain average trips per shift near 24. Exhibit A is a Memo from TA Staff Analyst Kelly Kuzik to Administrator Yvette Moore on July 14, 2003 stating clearly that the Taxicab Authority Board had previously adopted 24 trips as the annual average trips per shift goal. A formula shows the number of additional shifts needed to “trigger” an allocation of 16 medallions, or one medallion for each of the 16 companies. Exhibit B is a table displaying data from Taxicab Authority records for 1984 to present that shows up until 2003 the average trips per shift were maintained near 24. The table also displays the fact that the decline started from a peak in 2000 of 23.92 average trips per shift and the following contrasting data from 2000 to the “projected” end of 2008. [A projection assuming the same statistics as 2007 was used to complete the 2008 numbers]. 2000 to 2008 Key Indicators: • 9% increase in room inventory • 18% increase in total annual trips • 50% increase in medallions (24 hour equivalents) • 77% increase in total number of medallions • 27% decrease in trips per shift to 18.78. (Actual number TBD with Nov. & Dec. Stats) • 33% increase in meter rates, but only 12% increase in revenue per shift III. Introduction Since 2001 Hynes has observed the taxicab industry in Clark County. Wages have eroded for taxicab drivers, service has stagnated for the local population and service has degraded for tourists. By law taxicab drivers welfare is not considered by the Taxicab Authority. Previous TA Boards adopted a standard that was adhered to for at least 20 years but has been ignored since at least 2003. The riding public has suffered as the workforce has transitioned from moderately transient, with a core of proud professional drivers to a largely transient workforce. The core of professional drivers, great ambassadors to Las Vegas has dwindled. 50% to 77% more cabs for 18% more business since
2000, resulting in 27% less trips per shift has made it difficult for honest taxicab drivers to earn a living wage or the lawfully required minimum wage of $7.03/hour. IV. Deviation From An Adopted Standard The question Hynes respectfully submits to the Taxicab Authority Board and Taxicab Administrator is: Did the Taxicab Authority Board deviate from an Adopted Standard and if so, what is the remedy? Exhibit A shows the Authority deviated from the adopted standard in May 2003, and Exhibit B shows the Authority continues to deviate from the standard. Deviation from the adopted standard to maintain trips per shift at about 24 has resulted in historical increases in the number of medallions, has eroded the workforce and directly effected the most important lawful consideration, the welfare of the riding public. Also, given the widely contrasting statistics of 50% to 77% more taxicabs, depending on the shift, for only an 9% net increase in the number of rooms and a mere 18% increase in the number of annual trips since 2000 would the Authority advise a decrease both commensurate with the increase in business and the previously adopted standard? Hynes can demonstrate they go hand in hand. In 2008 we have the benefit 20/20 hindsight. What if the Authority had not deviated from the previously adopted standard and increased the number of medallions 18% for the actual 18% increase in business since 2000? Adding 18% to the 2000 number of medallions of 1,246 24-hour equivalent medallions in 2000 would add 224 medallions, 14 medallions for 16 companies, for a total of 1,470 medallions. The projected total number of trips for 2008 is 25,632,117, which is coincidentally 23.88 trips per shift for 1,470 24-hour equivalent medallions, correcting the deviation from for the previously adopted standard in question. There are 1,870 24-hour equivalent medallions presently allocated, 400 more than required to adhere to the adopted standard of near 24 trips per shift. The Authority must decrease the number of 24- hour equivalent medallions by 400, 25 per company, to come into compliance with the previously adopted standard.
Concerns about loss of jobs and capital expenditures by the companies can be addressed through attrition. If the companies simply don’t replace drivers that leave or not replace cars until they are needed, then attrition is the answer. Companies will have to buy new cars eventually and they can petition the Authority to extend the maximum period a car can be in service, if needed later. V. Conclusion The Nevada Taxicab Authority has historically upheld provisions of Orders. Just recently the question of the adopted standard for considering the removal of the fuel surcharge was discussed at an Agenda meeting with a heated commentary between Frias and YCS. Despite no statutory or regulatory obligation the Authority had adopted a standard and all agreed it should be upheld. The Finding of Facts for the Annual Reviews of Medallion Allocations, such as 3 to 5 year projections on tourism by expert witnesses and projected loss of taxicab ridership due to increased competition from the testimony of four cab company owners who each own charter limousine companies that compete for on-demand taxicab rides ring hollow. Given the glaring contrast of the increase of business to the increase of medallions, and having read all available minutes for Annual Review of Medallions word for word, Hynes strongly believes annual increases in medallions were made by the Authority as a reaction to peak demands at the airport and the convention centers and additional fears of coming up short. The 2004 to 2005 increases were made on casual comments that service at the airport was poor, but demand was up. No weight was given to testimony on traffic problems, despite a major sewer project on Flamingo, Tropicana and Swenson during that period creating significant but temporary traffic problems. Staff’s recommendation in 2005 was business did not warrant the addition of medallions. The Authority made a record 21% increase in the number of medallions by making the 2004 temp increase permanent, in a period when there was a 3% increase in room inventory and 2.5% increase in total annual trips. The total annual trips has hovered at 25,000,000 for 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, but the number of medallions has been increased 29%. Today, about 500 to 800 more drivers are competing for virtually the same sized pie as 2004. …
Former Chairman Werner-Collins was a Board Member when Exhibit A was published. The Chairman commented twice on the record since 2003 about the concern for an allocation “trigger”. No action was taken. None of the present Board Members has first hand knowledge of the adopted standard in question. Perhaps, Mr. Kusik, the Memo’s author can shed some historical light and historical records on the matter. Hynes respectfully submits this Petition seeking the opinion of the Authority deviation from an adopted standard and a remedy to correct the resulting over-allocation of 400 medallions. DATED this ______ day of December 2008. By: ____________________ Randell S. Hynes 6180 S. Torrey Pines Drive Las Vegas, NV 89118 (702) 456-2899
STATE OF NEVADA COUNTY OF CLARK ) ) ) ss:
I, Randell S. Hynes, being duly sworn, state that I file this application as President of the United Taxicab Drivers Corporation that, in such capacity, I am qualified and authorized to file and verify such application; that I have carefully examined all the statements and matters contained in the application; and that all such statements made and matters set forth therein are true and correct to the best of my knowledge, information, and belief. Affiant further states that the application is made in good faith, and presents evidence in support of said application on every particular requested by the Nevada Transportation Authority. ________________________ Signature of Affiant State of Nevada County of ____________ Sworn to and subscribed before me on this ______ day of ___________, 2008 by _____________________ ______________________ Notary Public My Commission Expires: __________________
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