The Block Island Times

Commission to discuss taxi dress code

By Stephanie Turaj | Jan 21, 2014

The Motor Vehicles for Hire Commission set a meeting date to continue a previous discussion about proposed changes to the town’s taxi ordinance.

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 9 a.m. The commission will discuss its proposal to create a dress code for taxi drivers, ban pets in cabs, and ban advertising in or on the vehicles.

When this issue was before the Town Council last month, it was met with debate and some opposition from taxi drivers and owners. The council then directed the commission to revise the proposal using more public input.

Also, at the Motor Vehicle Commission’s Wednesday, Jan. 15 meeting, members discussed another change to the taxi ordinance. This is a legal clarification about when a taxi license expires after the license holder passes away. The ordinance currently requires the license to be revoked immediately, which creates a problem if a license holder passes away while the cab is operating at that same moment.

After a brief discussion, the commission agreed that for a cab driver who is married, the license should expire after 30 days if the surviving spouse does not want to own the cab (licenses can be transferred to a spouse after a death). For unmarried taxi owners, the commission agreed that the license should expire after 24 hours. The Town Council approved these changes at its meeting Wednesday evening.

Commissioners welcomed new member Pat Evans, who was appointed by the Town Council last month.

“This may be the first time we have someone who is a taxi driver on the commission,” noted commissioner Vin McAloon, who also drives a cab but is also an owner.

In addition, the commission appointed Brad Marthens as the new chair. Previous Chair McAloon will serve as vice chair.

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