In Gulfport, FL a group of investors behind a LSV taxi service called GetGo is asking for some funding from the city. The concept behind GetGo is to provide transportation in the downtown area where parking problems can occur during certain peak times. The LSVs would be leased to drivers who would not charge fares but would earn income from tips. Revenue would also be generated from seven advertising placements on each vehicle. GetGo, which will be getting funding from the Gulfport Chamber of Commerce and Gulfport Merchants Association, would be formed as a non-profit and be responsible for maintenance and liability and property insurance. The city and the other funders would each have a seat on the company’s board. While there are some reservations about public funds for a service that might compete with private taxis, the city will investigate the possibility of funding the venture further. Investors are asking the city to provide $10,000 to $11,000 annually. Learn more: TheGrabber.com
Comment: This is an interesting approach which could create a model for LSV taxi services that could be applied in other cities. In the past, these type of no-fare, advertising and/or tip based services have run into some obstacles. Often, it is the existing taxi services or local officials who are concerned about mixing LSVs with other vehicles on local streets. A typical compromise is to limit the LSVs to a certain part of the downtown where their low speed, zero emissions and low noise characteristics are put to the best use.