, Salem, MA


June 24, 2013

Our view: Need a cab? Got a degree in math?

OK, get out your calculators.

If a senior citizen calls a taxi in Beverly and rides 11/2 miles to the Salem border, then another mile and a half in Salem to reach her destination, how much will it cost?

Let’s see, in Beverly it’s $4 for the first six-tenths of a mile, plus 25 cents for each additional one-fifth mile, and in Salem it’s $5.50 for the first mile and 25 cents for each additional one-fifth mile, so that makes ... well, at least $9.50, but after that, we’re a little hazy. Any math teachers out there?

We’re guessing most taxi riders are as much in the dark as we are.

So, while it’s not the most pressing problem facing the region, the issue of confusing taxi fares on the North Shore is one that seems relatively easy to remedy.

As Sean McKinnon, general manager of North Shore Taxi, pointed out at a meeting in Beverly City Hall Monday night, “If we can get one regular rate and one senior (discount) rate in Salem, Beverly and Danvers, it would go a long way in making it less confusing for the people and the drivers.”

It’s hard to disagree. When customers and drivers have to convert from one-sixth miles to one-fifth miles (and in Danvers, one-fourth miles), it’s hard to keep up even with a calculator.

Is this not a perfect area for city councilors and selectmen to work together? Could a few representatives from each community sit down together and come up with a standard rate — or at least a standard way of measuring when fare increases will occur?

Let’s face it, lots of customers take cabs from one community to another, and a system to increase transparency about fares would have much to recommend it.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate