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Taxi Company Explores New Territory in Scranton

SCRANTON -- A new taxi cab company is coming to Scranton. It's an industry that hasn't seen much competition in the Electric City, but the owner of the new company says the city needs more taxi cabs on the streets, even with the growth of ride-sharing services such as Uber.

Burgit's Electric City Taxi has been in business in Wilkes-Barre for close to 40 years. The owner says it wasn't a cakewalk bringing the taxi service to Scranton. He had to prove there was a need for another taxi company.

And taxi service in Scranton will soon be taking on a new color. Robbie Burgit uses red and white and crossover vehicles instead of the typical sedan.

It's taken him more than two years to open up the Scranton branch of his taxi service.

"There is a need up here for an additional service, and by the way, competition, the benefactor of competition is the public. It's just like now with Christmas shopping, everybody's competing for your dollars," said Robbie Burgit.

Burgit says the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission first denied his permit to operate in Scranton but that decision was overturned by a judge last month.

Burgit had to prove in Commonwealth Court that Scranton needs another taxi service. Scranton has two existing cab companies, compared to Wilkes-Barre's four.

Then, there's the app "Uber," but Burgit says the ride-sharing service isn't competition at all.

"That's fine for people who love technology until it fails. Last week, the app for Uber went down. We got three or four extra calls, that's it," Burgit said.

Uber isn't popular here either. We asked folks waiting for a bus in Scranton if they welcome the extra competition.

"We'll just have to see, come back in six months and see," said Nancy Biglin of Archbald. "I don't see it working here in Scranton, no."

Biglin, along with several others we talked to, take a cab from time to time. They think transportation is one industry where competition may not be a good thing -- in Scranton, at least.

"Unless they employ people from this area, that know the area, that know it well, I mean, but change in the Scranton area doesn't go over very well," Biglin said.

Burgit plans to put 14 cabs on the streets to start. He first has to hire drivers. He's taking applications now and hopes to be up and running in January.

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