Lake Ozark Administrator explores “soap taxi” feasibility

Nov 17, 2014

Credit GörlitzPhotography / Flickr

  Lake Ozark is now considering putting regulations in place so that taxi cabs are more readily identified and have consistent rates.

Several citizens in Lake Ozark are uncomfortable using local taxis because they question whether the vehicle they are using is legitimate. Lake Ozark Administrator Dave Van Dee has been at the forefront of some of these concerns. 

“Basically saying how do we know this is a legal taxi because people would just take a bar of soap and  write taxi on the outside of the car or like on the window, side window of a van, and go down and start offering people rides and apparently that made some folks nervous,” Van Dee said.

Some residents don’t think it’s a bad idea to identify that these companies have the proper license and insurance that comply with the state codes.

Alderman board member Larry Buschjost said the varied rates are also of concern.

"People get in and they tell them it going to be 10 dollars or 20 dollars to their motel or hotel and when they get there its 60, 80 dollars,” Buschjost said.

The city is also considering regulations that would require taxi cabs to post rates on their vehicles, making them visible to the customer.

Despite these concerns, Buschjost said the board does not want to be overly restrictive.

“Although [the taxi service] is not a great money maker, it’s a service we need,” said Buschjost.

Discussion of an ordinance continues, but board members fear running taxi drivers out of business by imposing a lot of regulations. Van Dee said all public input is welcomed in the ongoing discussion.

Overall, Van Dee along with the board are concerned about public safety and they are in search of a way to provide a better service for what goes on in the area.