Yellow, Orange and Green Cabs promise not to ‘price gouge’ this Derby

Larry Bisig of Bisig Impact Group spoke on behalf of local cab companies Thursday. | Photo by Melissa Chipman

If you’re out and about on Derby weekend and don’t want to chance driving, the owners of Louisville-owned Yellow, Orange and Green Cabs Louisville want you to know that they “will not price gouge by charging crazy rates” this year,¬† Larry Bisig, chief executive of Bisig Impact Group, announced Thursday, on behalf of the companies.

Other transportation options like Uber and Lyft, what Bisig called “social media transportation,” can charge surge prices that can be more than 10 times the normal rate during times of high demand in order to attract more drivers, he said.

“Given the expected high demand at the Kentucky Derby, we are working ahead of time to encourage drivers to be on hand to handle that demand,” Lyft Communications Manager Scott Coriell told IL in an email.

Bisig said that the cab companies would charge “standard, set meter rates” just like “an average Tuesday in July.”

Director of Public Relations at Bisig Impact Group, Matt Willinger, told IL that the companies approached Taxi 7 about joining in on this promise but the company declined. “Orange and Yellow is out of Louisville so they understand Derby better,” he said. Taxi7 is headquartered in Florida.

IL talked to Taxi 7 General Manager Mike Cregan. He said that Taxi 7 had applied to the city to be able to charge “entertainment rates,” which run from Thursday to Monday. These are flat rates, for example, downtown to Churchill Downs will cost $27.

Cregan said that the entertainment rates “make it easier for the customers coming in from out of town.” He said that when a customer gets into a metered cab, they can get stuck in event traffic just watching the meter go up and up.

“We want to do what’s right for the customer,” he said. He called Yellow, Orange and Green Cab’s decision “a shame” and said that it is going to “make for a lot of confusion.”

Bisig suggested that events like the Kentucky Derby attract “social media transportation” drivers from all over the region, whereas the Yellow, Orange and Green Cab drivers are all local. He called Derby-time the “wild, wild West” for transportation.

“This is the time to extend Louisville-type hospitality to visitors,” he said.

Yellow, Orange and Green Cabs did charge surge prices last year. The decision not to this year “is a demonstration of their commitment to Derby,” Bisig said.

Yellow Cab Louisville is the official cab of Churchill Downs and will have a stand at Gate 17 during the spring meet starting this weekend. During Oaks and Derby, it will have a stand set up at the Cab Lot by Wagner’s Pharmacy near Gate 3.

According to the Facebook page for Louisville Uber Drivers, Uber is the “official ridesharing partner of the Derby” and is offering its drivers Derby-specific training. Churchill Downs is promoting its partnership with Uber and telling customers to use promo code DERBY2017 for a free first ride up to $15. It says Uber will have designated locations for customers to be picked up after the race.

Emails to Uber have not been returned at this time.

Updated 5:24 p.m. to include Lyft’s response.