Dear Editor:

On January 1 I had the occasion of taking a taxi from the Elizabeth Train Station.  As a lifelong resident of Elizabeth and a daily commuter into my job in New York, I know what the taxi rate should be.  The driver, however, attempted to charge more than the going rate of $7.00.  When I informed the driver that I knew the rate, and you are attempting to overcharge me, he became irate and spent the entire journey berating me.  All I asked was for the driver to take me to my destination.  Upon my arrival I asked for a receipt, and what I got was illegible at best. I made the driver issue me a receipt that I could actually read.

The actions of the driver led me to make a formal complaint with the Elizabeth Licensing Bureau.  Today was hearing day.  After presenting my case (complete with photos of the taxi, the City Taxi Inspection Sticker and the drivers hack license) I received an apology and my fare back.  I learned at the hearing that there have been numerous complaints from other citizens regarding taxi drivers at the train station engaging in price gouging, especially during times on inclement weather conditions.

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Fellow citizens of Elizabeth, be aware that the taxi fare within the city limits of Elizabeth is $7.00, period.  Don’t let the driver tell you anything different.   Don’t let the drivers get away with violating the law, which includes talking on their cell phones (a motor vehicle violation).  If you are a victim of attempted price gouging, get all the information you can gather, drivers hack license, the City taxi inspection sticker, located on the rear right passenger door and the taxi number and company and do what I did.  REPORT THEM.  The Licensing Bureau would love to hear from you because they want the citizens to be treated fairly and with respect. 

Believe me, the good drivers want to root out the bad drivers also. Bad drivers hurt their business.

Sincerely,

Jesse Lewis, Jr