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Use of older taxis Okayed by New Orleans city council

We all know cars do not age well. Unless you keep a vehicle in a garage and never drive it, every time you use it, you are putting wear and tear on that vehicle's critical parts. The tires, brakes, engine and drive train experience that wear every time you drive, no matter how short the distance your drive.

With regular maintenance, most vehicles can be kept running safely for many years. But it all adds up. If you buy a 10-year-old vehicle, you expect to pay much less than if it were new from the showroom floor. Many people sell off their cars after they are 5 to 10-years-old, to avoid the risk of breakdown or the added cost of major repairs that become necessary.

In a potentially troubling move, the New Orleans City Council and mayor have agreed to add yet another year to the requirements the forces of taxi companies to replace vehicles after eight years. The ordinance will allow those taxi companies to keep vehicles on the road for nine years, but will also add an inspection during that year.

The taxi companies have been demanding the change due to the increased competition they have received from ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. The time limitations were originally imposed back in 2012 prior to the Super Bowl. Last year, the companies successfully pushed for extending the time limits from seven to eight years.

While this incremental change may not seriously threaten the safety of visitors and anyone else in New Orleans who uses a taxi, but it does increase that risk, especially if they keep adding an additional year to the regulation every year. 

Inspections should be rigorous as any taxi that driven across the rough streets of New Orleans for eight years could have serious safety defects present, from brakes, tires, tie rods, CV joints and many other parts of the suspension and steering system.

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