AUSTIN (KXAN) — Most people are familiar with the yellow and blue-colored taxis around town, but how about the green cabs around town?
The green taxis are part of the new ATX Co-op Taxi, which started rolling down Austin streets this month. Earlier this year, the Austin City Council approved the fourth cab company, which joins Yellow Cab, Austin Cab and Lone Star Cab.
ATX Co-op board member Hassan Aruri says, “This is a significant change in every cab drivers life here in Austin, Texas.” As with a co-op, the drivers are owners in the company, allowing them to be an equal partner and, in theory, pay lower fees.
The co-op has been allotted 400 permits by the city of Austin. Currently, about 100 of them have been completed since August. They are now under pressure to fill the remaining 300 before Thanksgiving. If the co-op does not meet that deadline, they will not be able to add more drivers to their fleet until next summer.
Aruri says the co-op will be a ride service like no other. “We are here to provide service for our members and for the customers of Austin,” he says. “We are trying to even combine the best of what TNCs [Transportation Network Companies] has to offer and the best of what traditional taxi have to offer.”
Aruri also says the co-op will also be a great option for communities that have been undeserved by ridesharing companies in the past such as rural areas, those needing ADA accessibility and people who may not be smart phone savvy.
“As people come to Austin and visit, we want to make that we have multi modal forms of transportation,” says Lee Davila, a city spokesperson.
Passengers will be able to hail an ATX Co-op Taxi cab on the street or also or via their app, Cabit. Austin joins Philadelphia, Denver, Alexandria and Madison as cities across the country that have taxi co-ops.