New Cab Service Rule Goes into Effect at DSM Airport

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A new rule went into effect Wednesday at Des Moines International Airport. Anyone taking a taxi from the airport now only has one service provider to choose from. Trans Iowa, which includes Yellow Cab and Capitol Cab, is now the sole cab service provider for passengers leaving the airport. At a board meeting on Tuesday, the Des Moines Airport Authority selected Trans Iowa to be the only operator for passengers. The rule does not impact Uber or Lyft, who will still be allowed to pick-up passengers at the airport.

Kevin Foley, the Executive Director of the airport, says passengers have made lots of complaints about rates and charges over the past year. "We had customers that were charged forty dollars to go from the airport (to) downtown when the meter read something else," said Foley. "Visitors coming into the metro to conduct business or into the state of Iowa to conduct business weren`t being treated properly, so this is about passenger experience and ensuring that those coming to Iowa to conduct business or just visit are in fact treated appropriately."

The new rule means cab service providers like Crown Cab are no longer allowed to pick up passengers leaving the airport. The owner of Crown Cab, Magarsa Jona, says the new rule is unjust.  "The airport hurt everybody, all drivers, all small cab companies," said Jona. "They kill off competition in the city of Des Moines.”

Jona says he plans on taking legal action against the Airport Authority over the new rule. "They throw us to the wind, granted only one company, they say if you want to go to work for Yellow Cab, means they facilitate monopoly, not only monopoly, they facilitate 21st century systematic slavery," said Jona. "You cannot work for yourself, go work for someone else..."