There are a growing amount of unregulated, unsupervised "shuttle services" offering transportation within Bloomington and Normal.
My issue is not that the "shuttles" are on the streets. My issue is that these shuttles are not regulated by the City of Bloomington. Nobody knows who these people are.
Did you know that each taxi driver must pass a background check conducted by the Bloomington Police Department? Did you know that each taxi driver must obtain and pay for a "drivers permit" to drive a taxi?
Did you know that every taxi company must have its vehicles inspected by the state and city twice annually for safety? Did you know the city regulates the number of taxis each company may operate? Did you know that all rates and fares charged by taxi companies are regulated by the city?
Did you know that the drivers of these "shuttle services" need no drivers permit, have no background checks performed, charge what they want, when they want and do not have their "shuttles" inspected by the City of Bloomington?
What does this mean? Simple: we have no idea who is driving these people home! In reality, they could be drug dealers, sex offenders, felons, or improperly licensed or insured drivers.
What can we do about it? We can contact our city council alderman, the city manager and the city clerk. We can tell them that we think it is time the Bloomington City Council starts regulating these "shuttle services".
It is our right to know that the person driving us home is safe, honest and sober.
Please help us by supporting your local taxi services. Let the Bloomington City Council know we are concerned about this issue and that we want all taxi companies and shuttle services to be treated equally.
Aaron G. Halliday
The writer is president of Checker Cab of Bloomington.