Madison bar owner says cabs will not come to his business

Madison bar owner says cabs will not come to his business (Image 1)

A Madison bar owner is frustrated because he says he can’t get cabs to come to his business to pick up patrons.

Jeff Huddleston owns Country Nites Tavern on East Due West Avenue.

When the retired firefighter from Kentucky bought the business eight months ago, he says customers told him cab service was a problem there.

He told News 2 he did not believe them until he started calling the cab companies himself.

“They would tell me they’d be here in 20 minutes but they wouldn’t show up. When I called back, no one would answer and if a cab did come it would be more like one or two hours later when the driver arrived,” Huddleston explained.

He says it is not just his bar. He talked to other business owners in the area that have the same problem.

News 2 spoke to cab drivers who said if given the choice, they prefer to stay downtown or at the airport because their cabs are always full there and they make more money.

Huddleston is worried about the safety of his customers. He went on to say that he and his employees have spent many nights taking intoxicated patrons home.

Billy Fields, director of the Transportation Licensing Commission says they are adding more than 80 cabs that should be on the streets by the end of the year and that should help.

“We’ve been trying to get cab companies to be more cognizant of special needs in that area and try to actually get cabs to that part of the county.  We’re going to do the best we can to serve every place in the county that needs to be served,” said Fields.

They are also looking into a small meter increase which could be an incentive for cab drivers to answer calls outside of downtown Nashville.

The last time there was a meter increase was in 2003.

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