Taxicabs: Sec. 37-28. Type of Vehicle Required.


Taxicabs operated within the city shall be of a closed or sedan type with at least four (4) doors and of not less than five (5) passenger capacity. (Tax Code 1959, § 31-16)
Last updated date: 10/23/2006 4:15:21 PM
It needs to be safe.  But I don’t see why you couldn’t use a convertible if you wanted, in fact I kinda like the idea of having someone drive my wife and I downtown in the back of a nice drop-top on a cool fall day… that sounds like a business opportunity to me.  Increasing options means allowing for people with different ideas about how to do things, not unlike having a bunch of different restaurants.
Therefore, don’t make any vehicular restrictions beyond safety. The vehicle needs to be fewer than 15 passengers because anything larger requires a commercial driver’s license (CDL) by both state and federal regulations.  But think of a long-wheelbase van like the ones owned by many churches, and you see why we should be inclusive.  Remember, the goal is to increase safe transportation options for all of us.
Which brings me to inspections.  They are cheap insurance.  Some states don’t require them, and that’s fine, but not if you want to drive my family around.
“Vehicles operated within the city as taxicabs shall be be of safe working order with current Virginia safety inspection, even if registered in another state and not requiring a Virginia safety inspection for private use.  The number of passengers shall not exceed eight (8) including the driver, unless obtaining a waiver from the taxicab inspector, and then shall not exceed fifteen (15).  A method of communicating the characteristics of the vehicle to potential passengers prior to scheduling transportation shall be established to include: the total number of possible passengers, the configuration of the car, the ability or inability to safely restrain children, and/or the ability or inability to carry additional baggage.”

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