Changes Coming to the Valley Taxi
Saturday, July 7, 2007
The Valley Taxi has been in existence for over 30 years in the Valley area and has
seen many changes throughout those years.
The most recent change is something they did not want to see happen but in order
to compliant with the rules they are under Pennsylvania Utilities Commission, they
have been forced to make changes.
One new PUC regulation that has affected this taxi company is the vehicles cannot
be over eight years old unless they meet very stringent criteria such as they cannot
have over 200,000 miles on them by then.
Another thing that is new is the fare structure of taking a ride.
Currently, in town trips have been done on a zone base system where the Valley
was separated by invisible “zone” lines and charged based on what zone the person
is in and what zone they are going top.
Now with the new ruling, the taxi company has been forced to change the fare structures
to a meter based system. It’s just
like in the bit city. When a person
gets in, the meter begins and runs until they are dropped off and the passenger
pays whatever the meter fare is.
Julie Allis, president of Valley Taxi, has been trying to fight these new regulations
with the help of state Rep. Tina Pickett, R-Wysox, and other taxi owners across
the state who are under the same situation.
“This whole situation has been a hard obstacle to overcome,” stated Allis.
“Our vehicles are older in age but are in pretty good condition.
Yes, some have over 200,000 miles, but they are in top condition. By that I mean, they have the original
parts still in them like transmission, power steering pumps, water pumps, etc. which
is not normal for a vehicle with that mean miles on them.
We take very good care of our vehicles, so the 200,000 mile rule is very
frustrating. The meter situation is
going to take time for the drivers and the passengers to get used to. Currently,
a person could call the company and get exact quote on the cost of the trip so they
would have enough money in hand. With
the meters, there is now way drivers can give exact prices unless it is exactly
the same route taken by other customers and the drivers know that.
They also will need to get used to using a meter since they have never had
one. Customers may feel in a pinch in their pockets as they have to pay a little
more than what they currently pay. So,
there will be a learning curve for everyone involved.”
The change of the meter base system will affect more of the in town people than
those who have traveled on a mileage ride since the meter rate is equal to what
the zone fare structure mileage rate was.
“We also work with local agencies in transporting people or packages like taking
eye tissue to
,” Allis said. “The new meter system
should not have a big affect on those trips since most are already mileage trips
and it equals the same as the meter.”
Allis said she wants to stop complaint so she recently purchased – through the help
of People’s State Bank – six newer vehicles ranging from years 2003 to 2004 and
the meters. Also included in that cost
is the detailing or lettering of the vehicles and installation of the equipment
like the top light, meters, and cameras.
The Valley Taxi is currently has the licensed area to travel in Athens, Sayre, South
Waverly, the Rte 220 corridor south, and Towanda.
They can also transport people into
New York State
Anyone with questions regarding the new regulations should contact the Public Utilities
Commission at 1-800-782-1110 or visit the PUC site at