Despite problems, Dallas approves new Yellow Cab permit

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 27 at 3:20 AM

NEWS 8 INVESTIGATES

DALLAS — Despite a long history of Yellow Cab violating rules to protect the public in the City of Dallas, News 8 has learned Dallas just rubber-stamped Yellow’s permit renewal without raising a single objection.

The cozy relationship between Dallas and Yellow has some saying Yellow has grown too big to fail.

“They’re letting them get by with murder," said Kelly Hollingsworth, an attorney representing much smaller, competing cab companies. "It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen."

Jack Bewley is the president of Yellow Cab. He controls an estimated 70 percent of the taxi market. When it comes to his relationship with the City of Dallas, there’s one important word to remember: APPROVED.

For more than a decade, city records show, Yellow had as many as 1,500 cabs on the street "completely uninsured." Hollingsworth estimates that let Yellow save at least a million dollars a year.

And what was the City’s position all that time? APPROVED.

After News 8 broke that story in November, Yellow turned in new insurance, which the City quickly APPROVED.

We asked the City if it planned to take any punitive action against Yellow.

“Compliance is what the City was seeking, and the business ultimately complied,” wrote City of Dallas spokesman Frank Librio.

“That is wrong, and that is bad policy," Hollingsworth said. "It’s the kind of thing that officials in charge of this stuff should have to answer for."

The official in charge of transportation regulation for the city is Sheldon Klain... but don’t expect him to do much. In fact, on Thursday, Yellow’s annual taxicab permit comes up for automatic renewal.

City regulation permits Klain to challenge a renewal when rules are broken, as they were by Yellow. But instead, Klain has already signed the permit.

It’s APPROVED.

“He has the power to do it, and instead he’s broken out his big Yellow rubber stamp, and he’s going to approve it," Hollingsworth said. "It’s the exact wrong message to send."

But at least it’s a consistent message.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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