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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, August 19, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesPROPOSAL FOR NEW TAXI LICENSE LOSES SUPPORT

PROPOSAL FOR NEW TAXI LICENSE LOSES SUPPORT

A Senate bill proposing to establish a free taxi license has lost the support of Sen. Anne Golden.
Golden had signed on as cosponsor to Sen. Donald "Ducks" Cole’s proposal to create a new Class B license. The aim of the license was to legitimize "gypsy" taxis that operate outside the rules and regulations of the V.I. Taxi Commission.
Taxi Commission drivers have to purchase medallions and meet requirements to operate their vehicles. Golden said a new license would undermine the medallion system.
She said not enough analysis on the impact of the bill on the taxi industry had been done; therefore she requested her name be removed as cosponsor. Golden also said legislation already exists that can correct the gypsy cab problem.
"We do not need legislation to correct a problem that is already illegal under current regulations," she said. "What we need is enforcement from the Taxi Commission."
While gypsy cabs operate without proper licenses, they aren’t as picky about their fares as many medallioned taxi drivers. Golden said that if the Taxi Commission enforced its regulations, no person could be denied service.
Cole said he understood Golden’s position. Because the bill is still in the Government Operations Committee, with a hearing scheduled for Friday in St. Thomas, he said, it still can be altered. The idea for a two-tiered system came out of public hearings after people in the community complained about taxi service.
"I’m happy to see the taxi situation highlighted," Cole said. "If there is no support, there’s no support."
Golden said that a Class B license would undermine the value of taxi medallions.
"Why would a medallion holder continue to pay the required fees when under the Class B taxi there is no fees?" she asked.
Meanwhile, Cole said taxi regulations are either going to be enforced or not.
"This highlighted the problem in the taxi industry," he said. "In the final analysis what we want is compliance and service to the community."

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A Senate bill proposing to establish a free taxi license has lost the support of Sen. Anne Golden.
Golden had signed on as cosponsor to Sen. Donald "Ducks" Cole’s proposal to create a new Class B license. The aim of the license was to legitimize "gypsy" taxis that operate outside the rules and regulations of the V.I. Taxi Commission.
Taxi Commission drivers have to purchase medallions and meet requirements to operate their vehicles. Golden said a new license would undermine the medallion system.
She said not enough analysis on the impact of the bill on the taxi industry had been done; therefore she requested her name be removed as cosponsor. Golden also said legislation already exists that can correct the gypsy cab problem.
"We do not need legislation to correct a problem that is already illegal under current regulations," she said. "What we need is enforcement from the Taxi Commission."
While gypsy cabs operate without proper licenses, they aren’t as picky about their fares as many medallioned taxi drivers. Golden said that if the Taxi Commission enforced its regulations, no person could be denied service.
Cole said he understood Golden’s position. Because the bill is still in the Government Operations Committee, with a hearing scheduled for Friday in St. Thomas, he said, it still can be altered. The idea for a two-tiered system came out of public hearings after people in the community complained about taxi service.
"I’m happy to see the taxi situation highlighted," Cole said. "If there is no support, there’s no support."
Golden said that a Class B license would undermine the value of taxi medallions.
"Why would a medallion holder continue to pay the required fees when under the Class B taxi there is no fees?" she asked.
Meanwhile, Cole said taxi regulations are either going to be enforced or not.
"This highlighted the problem in the taxi industry," he said. "In the final analysis what we want is compliance and service to the community."