Taxicab company sues Salt Lake City over contract

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah taxicab company suing Salt Lake City after contracts to provide service were awarded to competitors won a reprieve Friday in state court.

A judge issued an order that prevents the city from starting the implementation process for the two out-of-state companies that were awarded taxicab contracts earlier this week, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. The temporary restraining order was requested by Yellow Cab, which sued the city.

The delay is needed to allow the company to work through the appeals process, said Yellow Cab attorney Don Winder.

Yellow Cab's current contract expires Nov. 28. City rules state that only contracted companies are allowed to pick up passengers at Salt Lake City International Airport and people hailing a cab along a street or needing service from a hotel.

If the contract for Yellow Cab and two other companies currently contracted with the city expires, hundreds of drivers are worried they could lose their jobs. Their only hope is that the companies who won the contracts will hire them.

"I just don't know what's going to happen. If they don't hire us, we are losing our job," cabbie Abdul Garin told KSTU-TV.

The Salt Lake City Department of Airports announced Tuesday the contracts were awarded to Ace Taxi Service of Cleveland, Ohio, and Total Transit of Glendale, Ariz. The companies were selected by a seven-member panel that considered quality of service, driver programs and financial performance.

City officials said the companies have pledged to hire local cab drivers who have a proven history of safety and good customer service.

Yellow Cab has contracted with the city for years, but in August the City Council turned responsibilities for the contracts over to the Department of Airports. The department then shifted the taxi contracts to a competitive bid process.

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