Taxi cab chaos in downtown Fort Myers New Year's Eve
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. - For some ringing in the new year, the party lasted a little longer than planned.
A lot of people waited for a cab after the Downtown Countdown in Fort Myers, some as long as a few hours.
Four in Your Corner's Kelli Stegeman found out what's being done to make sure you won't have to wait this long for a cab downtown again!
"Downtown New Year's Eve was a lot of fun," said Chrissy Martin. She rang in new years there with her friends. "There were a lot of people here."
2012 closed with hugs, kisses and smiles. But, those turned to frowns in 2013.
"It was chaos," said Phillip Griffin, owner of Bluebird Taxi & Yellow Cab in Southwest Florida. "You drive down the street, people jump out in front of you trying to stop you, you open the door to let somebody in and somebody else jumps in. They pull each other in and out of the cabs claiming it was their cab," he said explaining the downtown scene.
"There were people still enjoying their night dancing having fun and there were some people getting sick and then there were of course people kind of fighting it out like who is going to get the next cab," said Martin. "So, I guess it was survival of the one who could be the biggest and baddest to get the cab."
In particular, that was the scene Monday night at 2nd and Hendry streets - downtown Fort Myers' only taxi drop off and pick up site that police allow.
"In reality the river district will need 3,4,5,6 taxi stands," said Griffin.
A few weeks ago he asked the Fort Myers Police Department for that change in hopes of avoiding a New Year's Eve fiasco.
"We obviously did not get the job done," he said.
"It's wonderful that all of these people decided to be responsible and call the cabs," Martin said. "But I just hope that none of those people got frustrated and said 'You know what, I'm going to sober up and drive home' because that could have happened and led to some accidents."
Griffin hopes to meet again soon with the Fort Myers Police Department, the city and the county to come up with a solution.
There is no timetable on when changes could happen, but Griffin is hopeful that they will.