OCEAN CITY — By the end of the day on Friday, the town may have seized more taxi medallions as the extended deadline to get the cars on the road reached an end.
Then again, Friday may mark the day when several new cab companies introduce themselves to the Ocean City consumer.
When the Mayor and City Council passed the new taxi medallion ordinance, one of the caveats attached to a purchase of a brand new Ocean City taxi medallion was that it must be attached to a car and put on the road within 30 days of purchase on March 1.
With that said, some people acquired a taxi medallion prior to purchasing a vehicle so that they would ensure that they would have the essential license to drive, before spending the money on the car to drive.
The town, after hearing some concerns from new taxi medallion owners about not being able to get a car inspected and in order within the 30-day window, granted a one-week extension for a little more than a dozen taxi medallions. That extension will come to an end at the close of business today, meaning that any cab driver who doesn’t have a car on the road with the aforementioned medallion, will have their medallion stripped and seized by the town of Ocean City, with their investments being deemed non-refundable.
“To my knowledge, there were 14 that were awaiting inspection, but I know they were seeing people on Thursday, so that number might be less now,” said Assistant to the City Manager Kathy Mathias. “I think that most of the people in question have gotten their cars in order and will be on the road, but we’ll know for sure late on Friday if that’s going to be the case.”
If all medallions are attached to vehicles, that will bring the total number of licensed taxis in Ocean City to 174 for this year, minus of course, the one that the Mayor and Council seized this week after disapproving of the transfer of a medallion.
For those operators who opted for medallion financing, payments are due on the 15th of each month, with the final payment due Aug. 15.
In addition, if any medallion holders miss any of their financing payments, the town of Ocean City has the right to seize the medallion as well.
Mathias said that although it’s been an “interesting process”, she said the town has tried hard to be “extremely accommodating to the needs of everyone’s very different situations in trying to get a car on the road and to get their businesses up and running within the 30 days.”