Titus Takes on City of Gillette over Need-A-Ride’s “Need” for a License
Need-A-Ride, a homegrown Gillette-based transportation network company with offices in Wyoming and Montana, is feeling the heat after the Gillette Police Department organized a sting operation that netted one driver who allegedly purchased and delivered alcohol to them.
However, attorney Steven Titus, who represents Need-a-Ride, says there’s a bigger issue at play here.
After the sting, the owner of the company and twelve other staff members were given citations by the city for operating Need-A-Ride without proper business licenses, which are required for taxis.
But is Need-A-Ride a taxicab company?
Titus says no. “When Wyoming joined other states in allowing ride-sharing services, Need-A-Ride was a traditional licensed taxi service. To comply with the new law, Need-A-Ride surrendered its taxi licenses, removed all taxi signage and began their digital methods to arrange ride shares. This business model continued without a problem for 11 months….until February 13, 2018, when the Gillette police officers issued citations for ‘operating a taxis without a business license,’ which is in direct conflict with Wyoming law.” (Need-A-Ride Taxi Cab, LLC, legally became Need-A-Ride Transportation, Inc., in April 2017.)
The law he’s talking about is WY Stat § 31-20-110 (c): “A transportation network company vehicle is not a taxicab, limousine, for-hire vehicle or any public transportation conveyance. A driver shall not be required to register the vehicle the driver uses to provide prearranged rides as a commercial vehicle or a public transportation business.”
But why, says Titus, should taxis be discriminated against in this new age of Uber and Lyft? “The City of Gillette currently is unfairly treating taxi cab companies differently than Uber or Lyft drivers.
“I feel very strongly in the case and I think this a fight that every cab company in Wyoming needs to fight against the state legislature. I think they’re being unfairly discriminated against.”
Though the criminal case involving alcohol delivery is still pending, Titus thinks the charges could be dismissed. “I look forward to seeing the rationale behind the sting, which has to be disclosed to us by the city attorney. I look forward to seeing the sting itself, and to seeing if any constitutional rights were violated.” Even so, Titus maintains that the illegal delivery was an individual choice.
“Need-A-Ride in no way allows the delivery of alcohol to anyone, so this was a forbidden task by whoever was driving the vehicle.”
To speak with Gillette criminal defense attorney Steven Titus, please call (307) 257-7800 or contact the firm online.
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