Gloversville nixes cap on taxi rates
GLOVERSVILLE – The city is eliminating a cap on what city taxi drivers can charge their customers for rides within the city.
The city code had set the maximum rate at $4 for any ride within the city. After hearing complaints from local taxi services, the city decided Tuesday to eliminate the cap.
In another taxi-related measure, the Common Council on Tuesday changed the city’s frequency of taxicab inspections from monthly to twice a year.
Joseph Lander of Express Taxi & Chauffeur Services and Jake Spraker of Glove City Taxi previously spoke with the council about how city codes affect their businesses.
Lander pointed out the code set the maximum rate at $4 for rides within the city, but said the taxi service was told by a prior city administration it could charge $6.
Lander said considering the price of gas and that the city is at least 3 miles wide, taxi services have little room to make a profit.
Many of the council members agreed limiting the rate a cab service can charge is unreasonable, and on Tuesday, it eliminated the limit from the code. No one spoke about the change during a public hearing on it Tuesday.
Lander also previously told the city Police Department it is supposed to inspect taxis once a month to make sure the cars have working lights and adequate tires, but he said the inspections seldom happen.
Lander and Spraker said if any driver or customer complains about a car, the taxi services take it off the road and address the problem before returning the vehicle to service.
The taxi services proposed the code be removed to eliminate any liability the city could face if the inspections aren’t done monthly.
However, members of the council and Police Chief Donald VanDeusen said it is in the best interest of the city and its residents if the inspections are done twice a year.
The council Tuesday decided all taxicabs will be registered with the city clerk for $10 per taxicab and be inspected by the Police Department twice a year with approximately six months between each inspection.
The resolution also said the fee will be $20 for each of the two inspections. In the event a vehicle fails inspection, there will be a $10 fee for reinspection. If a cab fails reinspection and continues to be operated within the city, the owner of the taxicab company will be fined no less than $25 and no more than $50.
The city will issue inspection cards that will be required to be prominently displayed on the dashboard, the resolution said.
No one spoke at a public hearing Tuesday regarding the changes.
Levi Pascher can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.