Charlotte revokes cab company's operating certificate; owner plans court appeal

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte Taxi Cab was on the way to becoming the latest cab company in the Queen City. But after three months of operating, the city revoked the company's operating certificate.

City ordinance says cab companies must have 30 cabs. Alaoui says he had the required number of vehicles.

"We had everything here" says Myahmed Alaoui. "We had everything. Documents. Everything with paperwork and insurance. Everything filed legally."

In July, the city's Passenger Vehicle for Hire {PVH} office issued a PVH Company Operating Certificate.

Alaoui says "once we got the certificate of operation - literally all we have to do is start filing applications for drivers and filing applications for cars. That's the first thing we did."

He says more than $250,000 went into the company, and getting the cars ready.

"We had all of them painted, ready with credit card machines, meters, top light, everything ready to go" he says. "Just to get the license there's a $200 initial fee and then there's $385 just for the cab company. Each car is $190 plus expense of getting inspections, the city inspections and all of that."

Alaoui says he began taking the cars for inspection at the PVH office but he couldn't get all of them inspected because of delays or cancellations at the PVH office.

He says he didn't know he was required to have them all inspected and on the road in order to keep the cab company in compliance.

According to Alaoui, five of his cabs still needed medallions but for three months, the rest of his fleet was running. Drivers were picking up and dropping off passengers.

Then in October the company got the news.

"You're out of time. You needed to get all 30 cars already on the streets" Alaoui says the PVH office told him. "I said there's no way that I can do all the cars at one time because literally it takes time."

Drivers were told to park the cabs. The medallions were removed.

The City Attorney who is Counsel for the PVH Board says the city revoked the certificate because Charlotte Taxi Cab did not have the required number of cabs.

Thomas Powers says not all of Alaoui's cabs were cleared to be on the road, and that the PVH office gave him several extensions.

Alaoui appealed the PVH office's ruling but the PVH Board upheld the decision.

Alaoui says he's taking the fight to court because the way he understands it, the ordinance does not state the time frame for when a cab company has to have all 30 cabs on the streets.

"It says you have to have 30 cabs. It doesn't say bring them all in one day, do them all in one day."

Meanwhile, Alaoui says he has been pondering a question.

"My question is why are they coming after me since I'm just newly established on my way of getting the company the way it's supposed to be."