With the hearing to allow Village Car Service to operate in the Village of Rockville Centre set for May 13, taxis are a hot issue locally.
The Rockville Centre Village Code sets strict stipulations for how taxi services are to be run: including lights on the roof of cars, how taxis can pick up passengers, how long people can wait for a cab and how much fares are.
In the village, taxi companies need to be licensed in order to operate within the village boarders. This means that only licensed companies are allowed to pick up and drop off a fare within the village. Other companies may pick up or drop off without a village license, but not both. As of now, the only company licensed by the village is All Island Transportation, which has been the taxi company of the village for more than three decades.
There are many stipulations to running a taxi company in the village. For example, village code says that “no passenger in a taxicab shall be kept waiting longer than five minutes before proceeding to his announced destination.” There are also laws regarding how accidents should be reported, where taxis can park and more.
All Island has a taxi stand at the train station, as well as parking spots nearby, for which it pays the village $100 a month in rent. It also pays $1,046 annually for its fleet of 21 taxis.
“We do get business from the train station and we have people that call on the phones,” said Lawrence Blessinger, Jr., the vice president of All Island. “It’s a combination of everything.”
Village law also lays out how much companies are allowed to charge for fares. Taxi companies are allowed to charge less than the fares stated in village code, but not more.
For adults (over the age of 18), the standard fare is $4. For children 12 to 18, the fare is $2.50 on weekdays between 7 and 9 a.m. and 5 and 7 p.m. At all other times, it’s $1.50. For children 4 to 12, the fair is 50 cents. Children younger than four are free when accompanied by an adult. The fare for senior citizens and the disabled is $2.50.