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Taxi permits more expensive to acquire

Getting a taxi permit in the city of Wilmington is going to take a few more steps, which will ultimately cost the cab driver more money, but may make our streets safer. Getting a taxi permit in the city used to consist of paying $15, and getting a statewide criminal background check. Now, the police department wants to make sure those driving the public around are clear of any criminal or drug history. Taxi drivers aren't happy because this new permit is going to cost more. The first step is a drug test conducted by Mobile Medical Lab off Carolina Beach Road, which costs $35. Next, fingerprints are taken at the police station for not only a statewide background check, but a national one conducted by the FBI. That's another $18. And finally, a taxi permit, which is the cheapest step at $15. That adds up to almost $70 dollars. Some taxi drivers said that's an entire day's pay. "The police department is requiring us to have background checks, drug tests, and everything else, which are good things, cause you don't want the public out there in a cab with someone that's going to hurt them, we don't have a problem with that, it's the financial part of it,” said taxi driver Sarah Pendergrass. City council voted to crack down on permit requirements in order to make it tougher for just anyone to drive the public around in the city. These new measures came into effect February 3rd. Now in order to obtain, or renew a taxi permit in the city, everyone must go through these steps.

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I think this long time

I think this long time coming.Over my years of me driving a cab for Port City and Yellow cab.I seen driver that should have been drug tested. Before anything could be done.The so call drivers would clean-up there act. There be some drivers in this town.That's will not pass that test.I think Port city and Yellow cab should pay for 1/2 cost of the test.that's not going to happen.We need to keep wilmington street safe for everyone.

The increased cost has

The increased cost has nothing to do with increased safety or quality of drivers. Just ask the Jacksonville Police Department. Due to the fact that the Jacksonville drivers go on Camp Lejeune, they have always had to be fingerprinted and the prints run through the nationwide FBI database, in addition to obtaining a criminal court record. Around ten years ago, they also began requiring a drug test to the tune of $40. This drug test is a joke. Since your permits expire on your birthday, you know exactly when to cease and desist so you can get a clean test. I took a couple of these tests. They contract with the local urgent care type clinic to do them. While I am not a drug user anyway, I was surprised that they simply asked me to remove my jacket and turned off the water valve under the sink and then left me alone to take the test. I could have had a clean sample concealed on me or simply turned the water back on, for whatever reason. When I worked previously for a manufacturing plant and you were injured on the job, they always did a drug test and stood there and watched you. Knowing a lot of the drivers as I do, it has done nothing to cut down on the drug use/dealing going on. Jacksonville also holds two taxi inspections a year that they charge a fee for. These are not safety checks, and they are unnecessary because they are performed at the same time you get your state inspection. They will however, fail your cab if the color of the floor mats don't match the carpeting in the car. All it amounts to is another way to tax the taxi drivers and generate income for the city.

The Cost of the New Taxi Permits, a Move Towards A Better Driver

Actually the cost is $88.00. $35 for a drug test, $38 for the fingerprints and background check, and $15 for the final permit. This is not a matter of finances for many drivers, this is a matter of the quality of who you work for and who you work with. $88.00 is easily made any night of the week here in Wilmington, NC after making payment to the company you work for. This is the matter of of Wilmington obtaining high quality drivers instead of many of the shady drivers of our past. If you can't make the $88.00 for your permit perhaps you should rethink your choice of profession, because this is cheap compared to the professional dues paid by much of the American Workforce.