Springs Cab LLC has resumed operations after new Denver area-based investors bought a majority interest in the financially troubled taxi company.
Ralph Bower, operations director of Springs Cab, said the new investors have pumped enough money into the company to allow it buy 30 new taxis, which are scheduled to be in operation by the end of March. The purchase will triple the size of the Springs Cab's current fleet.
Bower declined to identify the investors.The original three partners in the company - Ali Gulaid and brothers Abdullahi and Muktar Buni - will retain a minority stake in Springs Cab, he said.
Springs Cab shut down Jan. 9 as it sought new investors to replace 2004 and 2005 vehicles that are too old to be used in its fleet under Colorado Public Utilities Commission regulations, which limits the age of taxis to eight years from the date they were manufactured. Service resumed on Friday.
The Colorado Springs Airport also suspended the company's ground transportation permit Jan. 15 after airport officials confirmed an anonymous tip that its liability insurance had expired with no new coverage in place.
Bower said Springs Cab's insurance coverage never lapsed, and he is scheduled to meet Tuesday with airport officials to show the company has the required coverage to end the suspension.
He also said the company is fighting $31,762.50 in fines imposed in October by the PUC for operating without required liability insurance from Sept. 5 to Sept. 20. Company officials plan to present documents at a Feb. 25 hearing that show Springs Cab had insurance during that period, he said.
"We're here to stay. There's no chance Springs Cab is going out of Colorado Springs anytime soon," Bower said.
Springs Cab started in 2011 on a shoestring budget, with four taxis dispatched out of an office attached to a self-storage warehouse on Powers Boulevard. The company built its fleet to about 30 taxis and won authority from the PUC in 2012 to expand its operations to 20 counties along the Front Range.
Springs Cab is the only local competitor to Yellow Cab, which is owned by Chicago-based Veolia Transportation on Demand and operates a 150-vehicle fleet in the Colorado Springs area. Veolia, owned by French water giant Veolia Environment SA,also operates the SuperShuttle airport shuttle service and taxi operations in Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins.
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