Cabs and service

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I couldn't help but shake my head reading the comments from District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. and the Public Utility Commission in the recent story on jitneys ("Local Jitney Service Illegal, But Thriving," Sept. 7).

Mr. Zappala outlined the steps the county will be taking to enforce Yellow Cab's virtual monopoly in the licensed cab business serving neighborhoods such as the South Side. Anyone hoping to get a cab to or from the South Side faces service that is inconsistent and at times completely nonexistent. Perhaps that issue should be Mr. Zappala's focus, as there can be no doubt that the difficulty in getting cabs on the South Side significantly contributes to the violence, nuisance crimes and drunken driving that plague the South Side after the bars close.

Mr. Zappala concedes that jitneys can sometimes fill a niche by providing service to underserved neighborhoods. With Yellow Cab being essentially the only cab company in Pittsburgh, all of our neighborhoods are underserved. Allegheny County (whether through the DA's office or through the PUC) should not acquiesce to Yellow Cab in its desire to use the regulatory process to stymie competition.

NEAL WILSON
Oakland


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