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Salem taxis: Why license them?

Salem selectmen are actually undecided on whether to eliminate a taxi ordinance that has not been enforced in two decades. Why? If the town has not been endangered by renegade taxi drivers for the last 20 years, just get rid of it.

The old ordinance requires that taxis be licensed at a fee of $25 for the first cab and $10 for each additional. “After doing some research, after it was discussed with the board a couple of weeks ago, we found that there were two taxi companies in Salem,” Town Manager Keith Hickey said. “We learned in talking to other communities that they have licensed cabs in the past (and) that they have found it very cumbersome to do so.”

Town officials did not even know how many cab companies were in town?

The argument that the town has to license and regulate taxi companies to protect consumers is pretty well undone by the fact that Salem has not enforced this ordinance in roughly the same amount of time it takes for a car to qualify as an antique under state law (25 years). Scrap that clunker.

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