Cabs Throughout the Years

In the beginning ... there were three cab companies: Roy's, Deluxe, and Harlem.

1984: Harlem Cab is sold to the Means family, becomes Austin Cab.

1985: American Cab company is founded.

1995: American buys Yellow Cab franchise, becomes American Yellow Checker Cab.

2003: Texas Taxi purchases Yellow Cab and rebrands as Yellow Cab.

2007: Roy's Taxi sells its franchise to Yellow Cab. Council mitigates Yellow's looming monopoly by issuing 75 new permits: 20 for Austin; 55 for a new, driver-owned company, Lone Star Cab. Ed Kargbo is hired as Yellow Cab GM.

2010: Texas RioGrande Legal Aid releases a report finding Austin taxi drivers make an average of $200 per week. City commissions its own report in response to TRLA's. Lone Star converts to a corporation.

2012: TxDOT releases a study suggesting no new cabs are needed in Austin.

June 2014: Uber and Lyft come to town, sparking controversy, with cab drivers and companies claiming inequitable regulatory standards.

Jan. 2015: All three cab companies' contracts are up for renewal, and conversation about a driver-owned co-op gathers steam.

July 2015: City ground transportation code is changed to require cabbies to honor requests for rides if they're the nearest cab. An attorney for two drivers sends a letter to Mayor Steve Adler and City Manager Marc Ott, asking them to retract Part 14 of the ground transportation code.

Oct. 1, 2015: No-refusal policy expected to go into effect.


In a previous version of this piece, we mistakenly stated Council would approve new franchise agreements on Aug. 4. In fact, the agreement has not yet made it on the agenda. We regret the error.

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