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Thurmont taxi service expected by Sept. 1

James Rada, Jr.
Thurmont Dispatch

(8/21)  For the first time in a couple of decades, Thurmont will soon have its own taxi service. Thurmont commissioners amended the town code to allow for a taxi service, and City Cab Company of Frederick is expected to create a satellite operation in Thurmont by Sept. 1.

“So it’s possible within the next 2-3 weeks, we could have a taxi service,” Commissioner Robert Lookingbill said during the discussion of the ordinance at the Aug. 11 town meeting.

The commissioners unanimously approved the ordinance, which allows the town to regulate taxi services “to protect the safety, health and general welfare of the city and its residents, citizens and occupants…”

“This does give us the authority to levy a small fee, which we probably will need to pay for processing,” said Thurmont Chief Administrative Officer Bill Blakeslee.

Mayor Martin Burns said that the town tried not to regulate taxi service excessively because that would only mean additional costs would be passed on to the residents who pay for the service.

Blaine Young, one of the partners with City Cab, said that he has two cars already painted with the words “Thurmont, Md.” on them. The new service will be called Yellow Cab of Thurmont. Yellow Cab has a local number so it won’t be a long-distance call to get a cab. By having a local service, customers won’t have to pay for the time it takes a Frederick cab to get to Thurmont. The taxicabs will already be in town, which should also mean quicker pick-up times.

When Young spoke before the commissioners in September 2007 to start discussion about a local taxi service, he estimated that a Thurmont service would run from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. The cost would be $2.40 for a pick up and $1.60 for each mile, which are the City of Frederick rates. However, Frederick’s taxicab commission has allowed a temporary surcharge for rates and may allow for permanent increases because of increased fuel costs.

City Cab has been running a similar service in Brunswick for about a year.
“We were really excited to get City Cab in Brunswick,” said Brunswick City Administrator Dave Dunn. “They’ve been great to work with and they are big supporters of the town. City Cab also fills a void in the city for transportation.”
Emmitsburg may also benefit from Thurmont’s taxi service. Young said City Cab has gotten calls for rides from students at Mount St. Mary’s University and the National Fire Academy, among others. A Thurmont taxi service brings the cabs closer to Emmitsburg, which makes the trips more affordable.

Emmitsburg officials have also been discussing with City Cab and Thurmont officials the possibility of the three working cooperatively to have a northern Frederick County taxi service.

“It’s on the back burner right now,” said Emmitsburg Mayor James Hoover. “I’d like to have it up here. It hasn’t been forgotten. It just needs to be resurrected.”

Announcements will be made when Yellow Cab is ready to begin local operations. The dispatch phone number is (301) 271-3340.

“Our goal is to provide impromptu transportation service within the entire county, including the northern county,” Young said.

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