KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Waiting for a police-ordered tow truck in Kansas City, Mo., usually takes an hour and the huge fee is often the second surprise for customers. Now city leaders are ready to roll out a plan they hope will put an end to the problem.
"Kansas City has been reported to have some of the highest tow fees in the country," said Kansas City Regulated Industries Division manager Gary Majors.
He said the city of Kansas City currently contracts with just one tow company that has only 10 trucks. Those trucks handle around 14,000 vehicles in a year.
"With that many tow trucks trying to tow that many vehicles, oftentimes the wait was well in excess of an hour," Majors said.
He hopes that wait time can soon be cut down to 20 minutes. Instead of partnering with just one company, Kansas City is working with 24 tow truck providers.
The city has hired San Francisco-based Auto Return to dispatch trucks from the companies. Majors said the closest truck will go to the tow site, cutting down on response times.
Majors said the change will also help police officers who have to wait for trucks to arrive. He said price gouging should come to an end as well.
"The city requires permits for these folks to do this business and in order to keep that permit, they're going to have to provide some good service," Majors said.
The new system is being paid for through tow fees. Effective October 1, some of those fees are increasing, but city officials said it is a flat rate that will not allow for any price gouging.
The plan rolls out Tuesday beginning in areas south of 87th Street, and should be citywide by November 1.
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A long-range plan for the state's highways suggests that Kansas Highway 10 between Lawrence and Johnson County become a partial toll road.