Indianapolis City Officials with the Department of Code Enforcement are determined to keep Broad Ripple Village Taxi off the road after they claim the company failed to control its drivers, some of whom the public claimed were driving recklessly. The city also made public evidence that suggests meter tampering among other serious code violations.
Even though a bi-annual inspection is required of every cab driver, the company underwent 499 inspections between June of 2012 and June of 2013 because of no-shows, and failed inspection reports that forced them to return. Some drivers did not comply with that request either.
Records reveal a 55 percent failure rate.
Fox59 got a hold of picture evidence taken by code enforcement after a sweep that shows the locking mechanisms on the rear doors of two cabs had been removed or were missing. That means a passenger inside the cab would not be able to unlock the door.
“That is frightening. That is absolutely frightening,” said Nancy Filar, a resident who learned of the missing locking mechanisms.
“I think that’s criminal confinement,” said Jay Powell, another resident.
Broad Ripple Village Taxi was denied its license renewal on July 15 after code enforcement officials claimed they had enough evidence to support that decision.
“It was imperative that they were taken off the road,” said Adam Baker, Indianapolis Department of Code Enforcement Spokesman.
Baker said a convicted felon, who the FBI claimed was involved in a drug ring, was working for the company. That discovery was also made during a sweep when IMPD officers ran the driver’s license. The driver also did not have a license to operate a cab.
The company’s internal complaint log for another driver for a three week period suggested aggressive and illegal driving behavior.
“They would write fire with two, three exclamation points, but that driver continued to drive and drive,” said Baker.
Citizens inside the man’s cab and on the road claimed he ran through a four-way stop sign, almost hit someone, was tailgating, was swerving in and out of traffic and was asleep at a traffic light, among other complaints.
He and two other drivers have to appear at individual hearings if they want to keep their licenses that would allow them to drive again for any Indianapolis cab company.
The door to Broad Ripple Taxi’s office was locked Tuesday. Their phone line was routed to another cab company.
“It goes into public safety. It goes beyond getting in a cab. It involves being on the roads with these cab drivers,” said Baker.
The company’s attorney appeared before a judge on Tuesday with a corrective plan of action and news that the company now has a new owner.
City officials said they will continue to fight the appeal: “It’s great to recognize there are issues, but whether the ideas in theory are effective in practice remains to be seen. There is a systematic problem with their operations as a whole and I’m not sure a few thoughts on paper are the solution. And the actions of this company over the past four months alone speak volumes more than the promises made in a three page document. We stand by our denial and the ruling is now in the hands of the ALJ.”
If the company’s license is not renewed, it can apply for a new license as if it were a new cab company. That move would require across the board inspections, and a corrective plan of action, that was already handed over.