Taxi Services to be Affected by Potential Car Wash Closures

- The drought and the city water restrictions can have many different impacts, and sometimes they can even cause contradictions and create some "catch 22" situations.

Such as for taxi companies, which are required by city ordinance to keep their cabs clean, but soon may have even more difficulty finding car washes to clean them.

Slylark Taxi is adjusting how often they clean their vehicles when or if the combined level of Lake Arrowhead and Kickapoo reaches twenty percent and car washes are forced to stop using Wichita Falls water all together.

That could have taxi services facing major issues.

"The city ordinance requires us to keep our cars clean on the outside and inside, but how can we do that right now," Kevin Callahan, owner of Skylark Taxi, wonders.  

Since car washes can only be open 5 days a week now, Callahan says they've gone from washing their cars every day to only once a week.

"We do keep the insides of our cleans clean, we wipe them down with moist towels and we wash them every day, so we're trying to keep the insides just as possibly clean as we can," Callahan says.  

He says his biggest fear is that dirty cars would cut down business. However, some in Wichita Falls say this is something they understand. 

"You can always clean it inside, that's the important thing. You know if the seats were clean and there wasn't too much on the floor," Wichita Falls resident John Cunningham says.   

"I think we need to be understanding here in Wichita Falls. We have to be aware of what the situation is," Wichita Falls resident Marilyn Wood says.
Callahan says most of his regular customers have been understanding, but he still wishes he could wash his cars more often.

"They're still not going to be as clean as we'd like, but we simply can't wash them," Callahan says. 

If car washes continue to shut down Callahan says they are looking at bringing in commercial companies that use water from outside of Wichita Falls in order to keep their cars clean, while companies are required to keep their cabs clean under the city ordinance.

City transportation director John Burrus says if the lake levels do reach twenty percent and car washes do close, then they will look at updating the ordinance to give taxi companies some leeway.

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