LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Some taxis in Lake Charles may not be what they say.
"All of this started with some complaints to Councilman Rodney Geyen regarding unlicensed taxi cab services here in the city," said city attorney Billy Loftin.
During a recent agenda meeting, Geyen said there are about four to five taxi cab services driving around with no license. Geyen said these unlicensed cabs look similar to licensed taxi services and even pick up passengers at local casinos, bars and nightclubs and are making money without paying taxes.
Geyen said that in some cases, people are taking their vehicles and just sticking a sign on the side to indicate it's a cab company. Now, Loftin is working on keeping the fakes off the streets.
"First thing we did was research to make sure we have the appropriate ordinances in place for enforcement on these taxi cab licensing issues, which we do," Loftin said. "Next, we have started the investigation process to look into any taxi cab services that are opening without a license and that's where we are now."
According to the City of Lake Charles, licensed taxi services must have a certificate from the occupational license department visible as well as a taxi meter. The city also wants residents to keep an extra eye out.
What's the easiest way? If a taxi cab no visible meter, even if the cab company is licensed, it is not a legal taxi.
"Just follow our laws," Loftin said. "As soon as we find out who's acting inappropriately, we'll either force them to stop or to follow the rules."