Taxicab Company Owner Angered Over 'Illegal' Competition

Newly-adopted ordinance sets penalties on cab companies operating without township permits

Tom Clerico is running out of patience.

The owner of AA1-Taxi took to the microphone at the Oct. 23 Township Council meeting to repeat his request that action be taken against cab companies operating without permits in town.

"The problem continues," Clerico told the council. "There are a lot of taxicab companies operating illegally in Berkeley. "My company is getting nowhere in getting this illegal operation to stop."

Clerico said he sent a list of the companies unlicensed to operate in Berkeley to the Township Clerk's office, with phone numbers of each company.

"We have seen these companies coming in and out of the township on a regular basis," he said. "They are not operating legally. It's black and white."

The council adopted an ordinance in September that increases the number of cab company permits to 20 and hikes the fee increase paid per driver from $10 to $25.

Companies that lack permits will face fines of up to $2,000 if they try to do business in the township, according to the new ordinance.

"I've tried to be patient, but this is a business trying to survive in this economy," Clerico said. "You should be really incensed...they are thumbing their noses at you."

Township Council President James J. Byrnes said it would be unrealistic for police officers to stop cabs just to check their credentials.

"Simply call them up and say 'cease and desist,' " Clerico said. "You don't have to stop them. They know they are breaking the law."

Lt. Anthony Chiorazzi - who attended the meeting - said the law forbids police from stopping motor vehicles without a reason.

"We can't just stop cabs for no reason," he said. "We need some probable cause. It's a motor vehicle stop. I have to have a reason to stop the motor vehicle to go inside and check it."

Byrnes made a motion that the council approved that all cab companies will be informed of the amended ordianance.

"It will be enforced," he said.

Bill Storm, October 26, 2012 at 10:41 AM
Just maybe the reason is your rates are higher, your service is not up to par. There are taxis that come into town that are hired by medical agencies, hospitalization plans to transport people to different medical facilities. If people are not calling you, time to check your service and rates. What happened to free enterprise?
Putting your cab company out of business!! February 01, 2013 at 12:32 AM
First of all. Those companies u say are illegal are "legal" they are insured at 1.5 million dollars versus your 300thousand on your vehicles. Those companies in question provide better service because you let those people go who had over 25 years of experience when you purchased the company. You did not even know where the bus station is and ocean count my mall. But you bought a taxi company. Those illegal companies as you put it have brand new cars unlike your cars which are unsafe and fixed by a backyard mechanic who is a drug user. So before you decide to ridicule someone you may want to stop and take a look at your own staff and how they treat customers or they wouldn't be calling us!!!
Putting your cab company out of business!! February 01, 2013 at 12:41 AM
We will continue to service and take customers in and out of holiday city. It's unconstitutional for you to try and monopolize what you have left of a business. It's not our fault your losing business Tom and Connie. It's what happens when your not involved in the daily aspect of your business. And just coming around to pick up money and call once a shift is not actively partaking in your investment. So maybe if you decide to stop bitching about illegal cabs who have proper omnibus plates and insurance and take more initiative with your staff we all can make money.
Monster February 28, 2013 at 01:06 PM
Any taxicab can go into any town and pick up as long as they are called in by the costomer for service .
Monster March 02, 2013 at 12:04 AM
LICENSED and INSURED out-of-town companies without a valid permit for a town have to provide sufficient proof that the passenger called their company directly.


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