• 63°

Oxford taxi dilemma needs to be addressed

Oxford’s taxi dilemma is intensifying and it isn’t going to get any better.

We have more students this year, with Ole Miss enrollment hitting a record high. We have more second homeowners, and more bars and restaurants.

That means more alcohol consumption at public establishments and more taxi rides needed.

With more than 30 taxi companies and Uber, the popular ride-sharing service, our city of about 23,000 might seem saturated. From a physical standpoint that is certainly the case.

When taxi vans crowd the Oxford Square late at night to pick up patrons they crowd the small space and become more than the city can manage with a handful of designated waiting and parking spaces.

That’s undoubtedly one reason Oxford Mayor Pat Patterson wants to place a moratorium on new taxi companies while a better management plan is developed.

That’s not a bad idea, especially if the city is willing to start from scratch in determining how to best manage taxi companies.

Options could include a specific staging area on or nearby the Square, or size limitations for the taxis. Dozens of vans are more problematic than fleets of midsize cars, after all.

Or, perhaps Oxford could get creative and start a green initiative: Any new taxi companies in the future must run hybrid or electric vehicles.

The options are many, but a few smart solutions are needed. A little time to get creative in finding solutions could serve Oxford well.