Taxi operators at odds with airport over promotion of services

Taxis at the airport. (PNC file photo)

Guam – The Guam International Airport Authority and some taxi drivers are at odds again, this time over their leeway to advertise their services at the airport.

About a month ago, the airport authority wrote to all taxi operators and drivers, warning them about alleged unauthorized pre-arranged taxi services at the airport, saying “stringent actions will be taken to address the violators.”

The issue seems to center around patrons and guests choosing their taxi services. Some taxi operators sought clarity from the airport, wondering if advertising through blog posts, social media, phone book, or referrals are considered pre-arranged. More importantly, do customers have the right to choose which taxi provider they want to hire?

In a cease and desist letter to the airport, Attorney Gary Gumataotao, who represents Independent Taxi, accused the airport authority of violating his client’s first amendment rights. Gumataotao pointed out that the program “simply advertises and promotes the association to prospective off island consumers.”

Gumataotao warned that if the airport does not rescind its threats immediately, he is prepared to take them to local or federal court.