On tickets at the Airport:
- Chief Bolduc said that the issues regarding ticketing at the Holding Lot have been resolved with ground transportation.
- Abel says that there have been a lot of issues with ticketing at the Taxi Islands, and points out that many of the violations cited on the tickets have been reduced to warnings on the MTS Taxi Administration Penalty Guidelines.
- Chief Bolduc says that “Generally, we are not going to work the Island”, but clarifies that it doesn’t mean that they will never be over there, and it doesn’t mean they will not be passing out tickets when they find it appropriate; they just simply won’t make it a practice of going to the Island with the intention of looking for the taxi violations.
- Chief Bolduc says that they are predominantly looking for things that make conditions at the Airport and in the entire Port Authority/Harbor Police Jurisdiction unsafe. Safety is their #1 priority.
- Considering this, violations such as speeding and driving recklessly cannot be overlooked by Harbor Police, nor can enforcement be eased up.
- Will said that we are not asking for enforcement to be eased up on safety related violations, but we are asking that Harbor Police share the Taxi Penalty Guidelines with their officers, and give warnings where appropriate instead of tickets. Will elaborates that tickets are very expensive for commercial vehicles and unnecessary and/or excessive ticketing is one of the reasons why drivers are leaving the industry.
- Chief Bolduc said that they would do that and instruct his officers to issue warnings when appropriate.
- Will brought up the issue that ticketing taxis for picking up or dropping off in a redzone is something that doesn’t generally happen in other cities. A lot of our customers don’t know that it is not allowed. Mikaiil elaborated that if the customer asks to be dropped off at a location, and the driver refuses, the customer will get mad, and there are always problems with customers walking out on fares, and the strict redzone policy makes life difficult for the drivers.
- Will also notes that MTS doesn’t even enforce the redzone policy for drop off and pick up because they understand that it’s just the nature of the business.
- Will asks Chief Bolduc if Harbor Police will ease up on ticketing for redzone violations when a customer is being picked up or dropped off. Chief Bolduc agrees.
“Ride Share” sign next to Convention Center
- Ian brought up the concern that “Ride shares” is vague and has no legal definition, and that enforcement of this sign is going to be troublesome
- Harbor Police agree to look into taking down the ride share sign and just maintaining it as a standard 3 minute passenger loading zone.
- ‘Ride Share’ sign next to Convention Center
- – Chief Buldoc and Captain Nichols brought up a plan to create a passenger drop-off and pick-up zone adjacent to the Convention Center along Park Blvd
- – The plan indicates that the signs that would be installed will read “Drop-Off or Pick-Up Only” and “Ride Share Vehicles Only”
- – Buldoc said that taxicabs may be able to use the zone too since taxis are “ride share” vehicles as well
- – The issue was raised that the term “ride share” is vague and generally it means Uber, Lyft and the like. There is a suggestion to change the sign to make it clear that taxis will be allowed to use that zone.
- – Chief Buldoc agreed but asked us to send him a request and suggestions so that he will have something to show the committee/body in charge of this.
Taxi “On-Patrol” Program
- Mikaiil discussed how in some cities and counties, the police and the taxi drivers have a very close relationship, and if there are crimes or something needs to be reported, Taxi drivers have a direct line to an officer who can dispatch someone. Mikaiil says that we would like a closer relationship to police officers. We all agree to continue to speak about it at the next meeting.
- We all discuss bringing Chief Bolduc to the next driver meeting to discuss with the drivers some of what we discussed today, and answer any questions.
What UTWSD is bringing back to the drivers:
- Harbor Police value courtesy and safety on the road, and expect taxi drivers to have good driving conduct.
- Harbor Police watch for speeding and reckless driving mostly. They ask that we communicate to our drivers that driving safely is the easiest way to avoid issues.