2017-03-08 / Front Page

Calling all cabs — 

Sanford approves new taxi ordinance
Senior Staff Writer

SANFORD — Taxicabs operating in the city will now have to be licensed under a new ordinance adopted by Sanford City Council following a second reading Tuesday.

The six councilors present — Councilor Joseph Hanslip was absent — unanimously passed the new ordinance.

William “Bucky” Collins,  the operator of one of Sanford’s cab companies, gave councilors a smile and a thumbs-up at the vote.

Following the meeting, Collins said he’s been looking for the city to adopt an ordinance governing taxi operations since 2002.

Collins has been a taxi cab company owner in the city for more than 20 years. One provision of the new ordinance he said he likes is the ability for him to more easily check the background of potential cab drivers.

“I can get criminal background checks” of potential drivers, he said, whereas it was more difficult for him to do so without an ordinance.

Collins also said he likes the  provision that taxis be marked as taxis — until passage of the ordinance, there was no requirement.

Under the new ordinance, cabbies will be required to apply to the City Clerk’s Office for a license to operate. The application is then passed on to the City Council for a vote.

The ordinance governs fees for operators, spells out that cabs must be clean and in good repair, be clearly marked as a taxi, have adequate liability insurance and more.

It spells out how rates are charged and what those rates are, and whether the fee is determined by meter or zone.

It also spells out grounds for suspension or revocation of a taxi cab license — for violations ranging from taking a longer trip to a destination than necessary; charging  more than the maximum fare on file at the City Clerk’s office; allowing drivers to operate vehicles when they were not clean or neat in appearance; if the taxi is unsafe or the driver intoxicated, among other standards.

It also spells out criminal convictions that can cause the city to deny a license, including convictions for criminal speed, driving to endanger, operating under the influence, attempting to or operating under suspension, and the like.

Among the fee charges for licenses are $60 for a taxicab business license, $40 for an operator’s license and $10 for a vehicle license.

Councilor Lucas Lanigan said the ordinance was an example of an industry and the city working together — Collins, who owns Frontline Taxi, provided input while the ordinance was crafted.

“This is something that really needed to be done,” said Councilor John Tuttle regarding the new ordinance.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or twells@journaltribune.com.

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