Golf cart-based taxi service Bama Ride in hot water with city

If company doesn't improve in 6 months, city will revoke business license

A local golf cart-based taxi service focused on serving the University of Alabama campus is at risk of losing its business license after drawing the ire of Tuscaloosa Police and city leaders.

Bama Ride has six months to clean up its act, the Tuscaloosa City Council decided Tuesday.

According to a Feb. 28 city resolution, the Tuscaloosa Police Department cited the low-speed vehicle taxicab company as a “public nuisance, dangerous to the public’s safety, health, and welfare.”

TPD officers cited Bama Ride drivers at least twice last year for not having a chauffeur’s license, which are required for taxi service and ride-share drivers. According to Tuscaloosa’s municipal city code, chauffeur’s licenses are filed with the chief of police and the fees for getting one total $83.75.

In both instances, TPD notified Bama Ride owner Landon Vaughn that his employees cannot work without a proper license.

On Nov. 21, Vaughn was ticketed because drivers were still working without the license. That case is still pending in Tuscaloosa Municipal Court.

One of the drivers attempting to get a chauffeur license was denied in November because police smelled marijuana on them when they were driving without a license earlier that month.

In December, that same driver was thrown out of their cart during a wreck. When police arrived, that driver was again ticketed for not having the chauffeur license, and Vaughn was ticketed for allowing the driver to drive without one.

On Tuesday, the Tuscaloosa City Council was expected to revoke Bama Ride’s business license. Instead, the council tabled the revocation discussion for six months.

“Well, the way I understand it is that there has been some good faith negotiations and we are going to give them what I was told is another chance,” said City Council President Kip Tyner. “And to come back in six months and reevaluate the situation. Hopefully they will never lose their license.”

The issue should come up before council again in August.

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