published Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Board to hear complaint about taxi charges Thursday

IF YOU GO

What: Taxi show cause hearing

When: 3:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: City Council building, 11th Street

The Chattanooga Taxi Board will hear complaints Thursday against a local cab owner accused of overcharging customers.

Chattanooga police Inspector Charles Topping said he will present information about All American taxi cab owner Randy Van Hooser, who he said improperly charged customers for a year.

Van Hooser could not be reached for comment. He has been summoned to the Thursday hearing.

City ordinance sets cab rates for all six cab companies in the Chattanooga area. The companies -- Millennium, Mercury, Checker Cab, Jackson Cab, East Ridge Cab and All American -- are mandated to follow them.

After hearing from Topping, taxi board members could dismiss the complaints, give Van Hooser a warning, or suspend or revoke his operating license.

Topping said few customers complained about Van Hooser because they didn't know they were being overcharged.

A former All American employee told him about the higher fees.

Topping said he has evidence that Van Hooser charges $2.50 at the start of the meter when that amount should be $2. The cab owner also charges 25 cents a minute wait time when it should be 20 cents, Topping said.

"I don't think it was just a mistake," Topping said.

Taxi advisory board member Tim Duckett, who owns Millennium, said Van Hooser has been overcharging his customers 24 hours a day for nearly a year.

about Yolanda Putman...

Yolanda Putman has been a reporter at the Times Free Press for 11 years. She covers housing and previously covered education and crime. Yolanda is a Chattanooga native who has a master’s degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Alabama State University. She previously worked at the Lima (Ohio) News. She enjoys running, reading and writing and is the mother of one son, Tyreese. She has also ...

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