Numerous times I’ve pointed out some of City Councilman Jon Johnson’s dumber comments and ideas. However, I’m happy to say I agreed with him last week. While reading over the Times-Picayune wrap-up of the new taxi regulations, was this encouraging statement, “I don’t know how we can rationally say to someone that … (the) investment can be taken away from him or her without properly compensating that person.”
Johnson’s comment was in reaction to the terrible passage of changing the characterization of Certificates of Public Necessity and Convenience (CPNC) from property owned by driver’s or cab companies to privileges bestowed to them at the mercy of the city council.
It’s bad enough that New Orleans arbitrarily limits the number of CPNCs, but now they’ve made a cartelized system even worse for individual owner-operators and smaller cab companies. What single driver would go to the effort and expense if his livelihood could be revoked at any moment, while also prohibiting him from selling his CPNC to start another career? I highly suspect this was a move requested by companies like United Cab to give them some protection on the back end to make up for the costs they will incur to make the required upgrades. Under the guise of “consumer protection” and “tourism” the council was only too happy to oblige.