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Business

Court decides club owner can cruise with cab idea

| Saturday, Nov. 9, 2002

The owner of an upstart cab company got the green light on Friday from the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania to move ahead with his business.

The court shot down an appeal by Yellow Cab Co., Pittsburgh Transportation Co., Lenzer Transit Inc., Peoples Cab Co. and Checker Cab of the Public Utility Commission's decision to grant a license to operate a cab company to Personal Transport Inc. The company's owner, John Wargo, also owns the Voo Doo Lounge in the Strip District.

Wargo and officials from Coach USA — owner of the Yellow Cab, Cruiser Cab, and Embassy Coach — could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Wargo previously said he saw a need for more taxis in Pittsburgh shortly after opening his popular Strip District bar in 1994. He said patrons often had to wait hours for a taxi, and drivers often rejected passengers if they weren't going to the airport.

Yellow Cab and its subsidiaries operate about 350 taxis in the city. Wargo was granted a license in July after proving a need for more service existed in the city to the Public Utility Commission.

Wargo has not said when his cabs would be up and running.

Wargo also recently announced plans to bring exotic dancers to the Voo Doo Lounge. Wargo has said that while the bar is often overflowing in summer months, he sees a sharp drop-off in business during the winter and believes the exotic dancers could boost business.

The City Planning Commission narrowly approved his plan on Wednesday. The proposal still needs final approval from Pittsburgh City Council.

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