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Taxis Given OK to Immediately Resume Danvers Pickups

Three taxi companies that have pending taxi licenses filed with the town of Danvers were given a temporary OK on Tuesday to immediately start picking up customers again.

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.

Anja Poulsen February 27, 2013 at 01:00 PM
A lot of people were stranded, despite the assurances of Chief Oullette. This article doesn't even address the bylaw that prevents the cab companies from getting those licenses in Danvers, which now requires that they grant them temporary licenses "if the companies fall short of the town's requirements". The town knows that they all do and that they cannot meet town requirements because the town requires a level of insurance that cannot be purchased. The job of a selectman is to serve the best interests of the people in the community, not to invent new and even more ridiculous rules, regulations and bylaws that prevent companies from conducting normal business and prevent the people of the community from obtaining transportation. Well, at least the police collected a few hundred in cash from the taxi sting operation. Meanwhile, there is a tendency in the press to accuse the cab companies of being unlicensed and flouting the law and very little attention paid to the fact that the responsibility for this debacle lies with the selectmen who imposed a regulation that cannot be met, depriving the entire town of taxi service.
Fara Beeman Andre February 27, 2013 at 02:09 PM
I've been told by handicapped neighbors that the Ride will pick up any handicapped or senior person for a small fee to bring them to appts or whatever. Why does Ms. Powell rely in cabs when there's a cheaper alternative? Just curious.
Sean McKinnon February 27, 2013 at 03:36 PM
The ride has to be booked at least 72 hours in advance and even so is often late or does not come at all. We often receive calls from people who have waited hours for the ride who never showed.
Anja Poulsen February 27, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Why shouldn't Ms. Powell be able to take the form of transportation she wishes? I find it amazing that people will put the burden on the disadvantaged passenger rather than assign the blame to those who created the situation.
Sean McKinnon February 28, 2013 at 12:24 PM
If the town wanted to find out why companies were operating without being licensed all they had to do was call and ask or send us a letter asking us to attend the next selectmans meeting. That would have saved town residents a lot of hardship and saved a lot of hard feelings between taxi companies and the town. Selectman Lucy is 100% correct that the action taken was "heavy handed" and not necessary.
Sean Ward March 01, 2013 at 12:56 AM
Although I disagree with the way this particular situation was handled at this point in time I am glad my town is checking the legitimacy of taxi companies operating in Danvers. It may seem like government meddling but the intention is to protect the citizens of Danvers from unsafe or uninsured taxis.

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