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City Council delays taxi meter decision

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Fredericksburg City Council decided this week to get input from a newly created taxi board before deciding whether to require meters in all cabs.

Councilwoman Bea Paolucci asked for a recommendation from the taxi board during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting. A final vote had been scheduled on requiring meters in all cabs operating in the city.

They are not required elsewhere in the region.

Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw had made the same suggestion two weeks ago.

Councilman Fred Howe has led the effort to install meters, citing complaints from residents and personal experience.

The complaints involve inconsistent pricing for trips.

On Tuesday, the council gave final approval to creating a taxi board, but added another member, bringing the total to eight. The council unanimously decided to add someone from the Rappahannock Area Agency on Aging to the board. The other seven members would include two people to represent taxi dispatch companies, and one each to represent taxi owners, taxi operators, taxi customers, City Council and a representative from Mary Washington Hospital or another contractor for taxi services.

The council expects to appoint the members of the board on Sept. 10. Between now and then people may submit names for nomination by contacting Clerk of Council Tonya Lacey. They can also access the application online through the city’s website.

Councilwoman Kerry Devine made the motion to table a decision on the meters until hearing back from the taxi board. Councilman George Solley seconded it.

It passed by a 5–2 vote with Howe and Councilman Brad Ellis opposing.

Regardless of what is decided about the meters, people will face a $2 surcharge for taxi rides during the time the Fall Hill Avenue bridge is closed next year.

The bridge over the Rappahannock Canal at Fall Hill Avenue is being replaced. While there is no bridge, drivers will be routed along a 5-mile detour. That route will take drivers on the east side to U.S. 1 south to Cowan Boulevard, then across Interstate 95 and right onto Carl D. Silver Parkway before getting back onto Fall Hill Avenue.

The bridge is expected to be closed from about Feb. 3 until shortly before Thanksgiving 2014.

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972

pgould@freelancestar.com

WANT TO SERVE?

Fredericksburg City Council this week created an eight-member taxicab board that it expects to appoint on Sept. 10.

Anyone wishing to serve may fill out an application, which is available through the city’s website: fredericksburgva.gov. Look in the “Your Government” section under “Boards and Commissions.”

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Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2013/08/28/city-council-delays-taxi-meter-decision/