Three local taxi companies were given a temporary OK on Tuesday to immediately start picking up customers after a compliance check last week found no licensed companies with a town license.
The Danvers Board of Selectmen said that since North Shore Taxi, ND-A-RYD and Salem Taxi all have valid licenses in neighboring towns and have applied for a license from Danvers, each company can make pickups in Danvers until a public hearing in April on whether the companies should be granted a full license. Even them, the board could issue a temporary license if the companies fall short of the town's requirements.
Technically, the Selectmen's vote gave companies that have already submitted applications "permission to operate," said Town Manager Wayne Marquis. Selectman Keith Lucy said that the board would not give the permission to a cab company that is not already operating.
A deadline has been set of March 7 at 7:30 p.m. for other companies to apply for a license. If an application is received by that date those companies will also receive "permission to operate" until the public hearing if they present a valid license from a neighboring community.
There have been no taxi pickups in Danvers since last week when Danvers Police called all the cab companies operating in Danvers for a ride from Liberty Tree Mall, and when the company made a pickup the company was fined $100 and told not to make any further pickups in Danvers until it gets a license.
The by police was exactly what the Board of Selectmen asked the department to do, said Selectmen Gardner Trask. Police Chief Neil Oullette later told the board that when pickups were immediately halted after the compliance check, nobody would have been stranded. One family was given a ride home to Motel 6 by police he said.
Ash Street Laura Powell said the lack of taxi service in Danvers in recent days has "caused a lot of stress in my home." She can not drive and has two handicapped children who rely on taxis to get places. One child missed an appointment last week because of the lack of service, she told selectmen.