Cab Complaints Concern Public Safety Committee
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Public Safety Committee is looking into complaints made about the local taxi service.
Written and oral complaints had been received by city councilors, said Chairman Alan Marden, but not by the Police Department.
City Council President Ronald Boucher, attending the meeting, said the complaints related to customer service, such as inconsistent fares and smoking by the driver. The city had banned smoking in cabs by both drivers and passengers a decade ago.
Marden said he'd also been given two very specific complaints about cabs not servicing handicapped customers.
The board agreed it was a matter of compliance and voted to have Marden do a site visit with the company to "get their side of the story."
The city only has one taxi service now, American Cab & Livery Co. Boucher said there had been talks with Rainbow Taxi of Pittsfield to open an office in the city to offer competition, but nothing came of it.
Board members noted that the taxi company provides an important service to residents.
"It's not the best of economic times to be operating any business and they do provide a public service so we should try to work with them," said Marden. "But we definitely do not let this go by."
The board voted unanimously to "adopt" the state's anti-idling statute passed in 2009. The measure prohibits the idling of a motor vehicle for more than five minutes unless related to repairs, deliveries and pickups in which the motor is the only power source available. Fines range from $100 to $500.
The measure, and a similar one banning idling motor vehicles at or near schools, was enacted to limit pollutants. The Board of Health had asked the City Council to take up the matter and enforce it for health reasons.
"It may not be required but as a courtesy to the Board of Health, we're going to adopt it," said Marden.