Taxi amendment drives change

Edgartown selectmen review metering options for taxi companies.

Edgartown selectmen made changes to a taxi regulation and set the opening date for the scallop season. — Brian Dowd

Edgartown selectmen approved an amendment to its taxi regulation Monday. Adam Darack, the town’s taxi liaison, told selectmen he had worked with town counsel Ron Rappaport to come up with an amendment that would add taxi metering as an option.

“Vehicles for hire may charge either by flat rates or by using a taxi meter system. Any traditional (nonmobile device app) taxi meter used shall be installed and inspected in accordance with the laws of the commonwealth and the regulations prescribed by the director of the Division of Standards. For tablet or mobile device app metering systems, the town shall have access to logs pertaining to time, location/distance, and fare charged upon request, with a 24-hour turnaround time required. The board shall approve rates on an annual basis or at other intervals which, in its sole discretion, it deems appropriate. Vehicles for hire using a taxi meter system must be labeled as such clearly on the vehicle, and are limited to single-fare business only,” the amendment read.

Darack said meters would not be “forced” onto all taxi companies, but would provide them another option.

“I think what you came up with is perfect … I think you tied it up in a nice neat package,” selectman Arthur Smadbeck said.

Selectmen agreed to hold a public hearing on Oct. 15 regarding the taxi meter changes. Smadbeck said that the amendment can be adopted and go into effect immediately after the public hearing.

The hearing comes after selectmen delayed any decision on metering when first proposed in June.

In other business, selectmen, on the recommendation of the shellfish committee, set the town’s bay scallop season. The recreational harvest season will begin Monday, Oct. 1, with a weekly limit of one level 10-gallon wash basket, including shells. No dragging for scallops is allowed in Cape Poge until dawn on Nov. 2.

Commercial harvest will begin on Monday, Nov. 5, with a daily limit of three level 10-gallon wash baskets, including shells, per day. Harvest is allowed Monday through Friday.

Both recreational and commercial seasons will close on Saturday, March 30.

Selectmen voted to extend the lease agreement deadline between the town and Christopher Celeste and his daughter Julia Celeste, operating as Summer & Main LLC, for the Yellow House to Oct. 8. The town has been negotiating the agreement since Summer & Main LLC submitted a bid to renovate the town-owned building in July.