Officials respond to taxi troubles in downtown on New Year's Eve
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
An estimated 50,000 people rang in 2013 in downtown Nashville.
However, Nashville's News 2 received several complaints about a major problem following the New Year's Eve celebration.
Countless people were left stranded for hours in the cold and rain by taxis in downtown Nashville.
Many walked several blocks in search of taxis.
"We've been walking around downtown trying to find a cab and we have not been able to find one for about two and a half hours now," Megan Mullaney previously told Nashville's News 2.
Patrick Sullivan, a visitor from Boston added, "A lot of them just weren't stopping, and they were just kind of driving right be even though their light was on."
Some taxis even turned off their meters and tried to get customers to pay illegal flat rates.
"The taxi cab drivers had their meters off and all they were saying to us is $100, $100, $100," said another customer who didn't want to be identified.
Nashville's News 2 attempted to contact the company accused of allegedly trying to charge customers unfair rates.
A manager at the office had no comment.
Billy Fields, Interim Director of the Metro Transportation Licensing Commission, urges anyone who encountered an issue with taxicabs on New Year's Eve to contact their office.
"Clearly we want to make sure we're protecting people both their safety and their financial safety because it's important that they know when they get into one of our vehicles that they're in there with people that have been reviewed," Fields told Nashville's News 2.
He continued, "If someone has a problem and they feel like they've been cheated, if they'll call our office we'll certainly investigate it and we'll do the best we can to get to the bottom of it."
The Metro Transportation Licensing Commission is responsible for overseeing Nashville's taxicabs.
In a statement, Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitor's Bureau said, "The taxi cab companies were apprised, aware and offered special staging areas. Unfortunately they didn't take us up on any of the offers of assistance. We offered two designated cab stands at LP Field, and one on the west side of the river. No cabs showed up at LP Field and the taxis declined to even have a stand on the west side."
Spyridon continued by saying, "Our job is to produce a world-class event. Just like the bars, restaurants and hotels that staff up for major events, we would expect taxi cab companies to do so as well. We will continue to provide designated access for future events, and hope that they will eventually take advantage of our offer of assistance."
Fields added, "Nashville is the friendliest city in America and we want to make sure that our taxicab drivers are giving that impression."
To file a formal complaint against a taxicab in Nashville, visit Nashville.gov.