JUDGE: DALLAS FORT-WORTH AIRPORT PERMITTED TO PUT CNG CABS AT THE FRONT OF LINE
Five years and two lawsuits later, a Dallas judge has ruled that Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport did nothing wrong when it gave head-of-the-line privileges to taxis powered by CNG in 2012. Justice Jim Moseley on the Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas threw out a trial court’s May 2012 judgment that voided the airport’s policy making CNG-fueled cars the cab of choice at the airport. This doesn’t mean CNG-fueled cabs will immediately go to the front of the line. Only the Board can make that decision, and there is no timetable for that as of today. The Association of Taxi Operators, which filed the two lawsuits that were eventually consolidated into a single appeal, has long claimed the airport board didn’t have the authority to make the decision without the approvals of the Dallas and Fort Worth city councils. In a brief filed on behalf of the Association last year, the board was accused of acting with “unnecessarily broad and unchecked governmental authority.” Not so, writes Moseley, pointing to Chapter 22 of the Texas Transportation Code, which allows municipalities to create a “joint board” that acts as the sole decision-maker for, say, an airport. But at Dallas Love Field — again, after years of protests and legal challenges the cabbies keep losing — CNG-powered taxis already have front-of-line privileges. And at D/FW Airport, most of its vehicles are already CNG, including all of the buses that run between terminals, all the rental-car transports and the entire parking-shuttle fleet.