Putnam Again Considers Taxi Commission

Three taxis cover the Cold Spring area (photo by M. Turton)

Car-service owner hit hard by Westchester fees

By Holly Crocco

Putnam County lawmakers are revisiting whether the county should create a Taxi and Limousine Commission following complaints from a business owner whose drivers are ticketed in Westchester County.

Ruth Ayala-Quezada, the president of Carmel Taxi and Car Service, told the Rules Committee that one driver received $1,800 in tickets in a single day from the Taxi and Limousine Commission in Westchester for lacking a permit. Many of the passengers traveling to Westchester are going to medical appointments, she said.

She could avoid the tickets by paying an annual $600 fee to Westchester, plus $350 per vehicle, but she says it’s not worth it. “I was giving them $7,000 a year for the amount of cars that I had,” she said.

Ruth Ayala-Quezada and Fausto Quezada (Fil photo by Michael Turton)

Ayala-Quezada suggested that if Putnam had its own commission, it could work out a reciprocity agreement with Westchester. She said she’d rather give Putnam the money for permits, which she suspected would be much less, perhaps $100 to $150 per vehicle.

Nacerino, whose husband owns a private car service, said a commission is long overdue. “It’s not only that we’re losing revenue, but we do not have the ability, as Westchester does, to pull [taxi drivers] over because they’re using our roads and our highways,” she said.

Sullivan recommended the county reach out to Westchester officials before taking action. “I’m not one for creating more government, and more rules and regulations, so I’m on the fence,” he said.

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