New Hightstown Taxi Ordinance Lifts Limit on Number of Licensed Cabs

The public hearing and final vote will be held Aug. 6.

A newly drafted taxi ordinance that does not limit the number of cabs that can be licensed within Hightstown was introduced Monday with a tie-breaking vote by the mayor.

Council members Susan Bluth, Robert Thibault and Gail Doran voted against the ordinance while Lynne Woods, Selena Bibens and Larry Quattrone were in favor of it.

Police Director James Le Tellier made a recommendation to council to remove the limit on cabs to help with enforcement of those operating illegally, and increase the number of owners licenses to five, given there are five active companies in the Hightstown-East Windsor area.

“If you want to eliminate the gypsy cabs, the unlawful cabs, there is only one way to do that and that’s to give them the option to come clean,” Le Tellier said. “I have nothing to gain here but to make sure I can enforce, to make sure the residents of Hightstown are protected.”

The called for a limit of 20 cars that could operate within the Borough with four companies receiving licensing. saying as many people not only use taxis to get to work, but also to go grocery shopping, to doctor’s appointments and to get around the area.

Jorge Torres, director of Unidad Latina en Acción NJ, said the organization has been pushing for the removal of the limit since their May Day march.

“I think that these decisions shows how the community and the taxi owners have empowered themselves to achieve a political change in their town,” Torres said in an email Tuesday.

Disagreeing with the unlimited number, Thibault said other communities in the state that have a limit, and he wouldn’t support the ordinance without one. 

Taxi owners will also be required to hold a minimum insurance policy of $35,000 under the new ordinance, the minimum required by the state, but Bluth said that is not enough.

Le Tellier said the municipality does not have the right to set a higher number than the state minimum, but Borough attorney Frederick C. Raffetto said he understood the law differently and has asked for more clarification. 

The public hearing and final vote on the ordinance will be Aug. 6.


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HT July 19, 2012 at 02:04 PM
I can't believe the council has done this. Who are they here to serve? More cabs means more traffic in a town with too much as it is. The drivers of these cabs are not the most skilled to put it lightly. I have seen them cutting people off, running red lights, and making turns from wrong lanes. Why not limit the number of cabs? “If you want to eliminate the gypsy cabs, the unlawful cabs, there is only one way to do that and that’s to give them the option to come clean". The only way for them to come clean?!? So what you are saying is you accept they are not clean now? Limit the cabs and limit the traffic, the roads are too small. Even NYC limits cabs.
whatever41 July 19, 2012 at 02:42 PM
I & a friend took a cab on a New Years and "we" had to give her directions to where we lived. This was within the township. I'd love to know to know how they get a drivers license with all the goofs they make. and people are complaining about "too many liquor stores????
Kara July 19, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Has anyone on the council looked at the website of unidad latina en accion? Very strange we would listen to such a fringe group. They are based out of new haven but represent our town? I dont buy it. Who is really behind these people? http://ulanj.webs.com/
Dave Bell July 19, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Well I hope this get RESIDENTS OF HIGHTSTOWN to get to meetings and speak up!! It shows that if you show up with enough people and complain loudly you will be heard. Hope it's standing room only at next meeting
JMB July 19, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Anyone who wants their voice to be heard has to show up to these meetings..look at how many hispanics showed up. Volume in numbers...also, not one of them reads these blogs..oddly enough, even if they gave a crap to read them..they couldn't because they are written in ENGLISH!...
Friend of Hightstown July 20, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Hightstown is a great town with a rich history. It has a rich Main Street life and lively lake culture. Triathlon, Peddie swim, Peddie school, the paddle boats, music in the air, all good stuff. I do not believe the prolific comments above represent the majority sentiment. I am glad that there are people in HIghtstown who care about the town and believe in unity and breaking down barriers between peoples and recognizing the values of each others cultures. I like to visit Hightstown and have many friends there - friends of many races, some with papers and some without. I am glad that the community was able to come to an amicable compromise on the issue and hope that it can continue to move forward and build strength, unity and a better community. Go Hightstown!
Christina Marie July 20, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Mostly the illegals use the hightstown cab companies...they can't get valid drivers lic- there are bigger fish to fry in than worry about the number of cab companies...if you are that worried...give them a run for their money - some competition and start your own cab co ...cabbies are the least of our problems here in Hightstown...
Christina Marie July 20, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Hightstown is no longer a safe town Alexandra. Read the blotter and this is only what is being reported. The crime rate has been rising here. I have nothing against the cabbies, they provide a big service to mostly the illegals and/or people that cannot obtain legal driver lic.
Christina Marie July 20, 2012 at 02:04 AM
So sorry Rebecca...I moved here 5 yrs ago..and loved it too. I loved the appeal of a small quaint town. Being historic was a big plus too. Now...I am so sorry I bought here...so sorry. The way they run this small town is pathetic!
Kara July 20, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Dear friend of Hightstown. You dont even live here so what do you know? This decision is not final and hardly seems like an amicable compromise. What do taxis have to do with uniting races making social progress? Cant we just make logical choices that benefit tax paying families. Extreme amounts of taxis are annoying regardless of ethnic background. We need control.
Jake July 20, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Been a bigot long?
Rebecca July 20, 2012 at 02:44 AM
And since "Friend" likes singing Kumbaya so loudly, why doesn't he buy a house here and pay taxes and watch the town fall apart around him on a daily basis and then we'll see the tune change. There are plenty of houses available! Take your pick!
Jake July 20, 2012 at 02:46 AM
What the hell does hat mean? just asking
Jake July 20, 2012 at 02:51 AM
LOL, gotta love it.....you're voting them out of office? All by yourself? Citizens in caps lock? What makes you so sure the cab owners and drivers aren't citizens? Or maybe it just doesn't matter to you?
Jake July 20, 2012 at 02:52 AM
What exactly is it?
Jake July 20, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Are you screwy? Name one town anywhere is this country where the residents vote on everything. You get to vote on election day, maybe next time you'll make better choices.
Jake July 20, 2012 at 03:03 AM
Hey guys, I have an idea , let's refer to our rich history, circa 1970 when we so proudly burned crosses following the announcement that our first African American police officer was hired. And hey fter that we can limit pizza delivery guys, and then school buses and maybe even out of towners, yeah that's it We'll show em!!!!
B.Bennett July 20, 2012 at 12:10 PM
The third Saturday of the month, Rob Thibault and Susan Bluth have public meetings at the Hightstown Library starting from 10:00 A.M. - suggest we go and talk to them as maybe they can help?
rules rule July 20, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Do you have any sort of "mission statement" or goal that you are working to achieve? Because if there isn't one, perhaps a clear public objective would help the rest of us understand just what is going on here. We pay our rising taxes, we follow the law, we volunteer to help, we try our best to be good neighbors. And in return? Well, that speaks for itself. So just to help us all with longterm life planning, be proud of what you're trying to achieve, state your goals, and let the rest of us decide what to do next. Let us respect you for your honesty, and if we don't like it, we'll move on, and those who want to live "this way" can take our places. Be brave enough to stand up for what you believe and the changes you continue to make for Hightstown.....or admit that this town is spiraling out of control, and you're trying everything you can think of to scratch your way out. Be real, be honest, tell us please.
rules rule July 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Because, as you might remember, you knocked on our doors, we let you in, you listened, we listened, we talked, you told us you feel the same way, we voted you in, and then......................you slammed the door and stole the key. Ouch, way to lose face.
B.Bennett July 20, 2012 at 02:36 PM
We have lived here 50+ years - probably closer to 60 - it is really depressing to watch what has happened to our town....we used to go to council meetings however there are seven people who decide what THEY think is best for our town and don't care about us. We stopped going as we would make statements and they would "appear" to listen however nothing changes/d. Go to www.realtor.com and type in Hightstown and there are lots of houses for sale in Hightstown. Ours will be on their soon and we don't really want to move however have no choice. We do understand how you feel about this situation in town.
John W. July 20, 2012 at 05:15 PM
As I stated earlier: As a former long time resident of the ightstown area, I feel compelled to say that your comments make me sick. I grew up in this town, went through the school system and let me tell you that Hightstown is as safe as any other small, suburban town I have been to -in fact, even more with police from three towns patrolling the area (overkill? yes). For you to blame an influx in "violent crime" on an ethnic group not only ostracizes you and those you associate with as being bigots and uninformed, you are also adding to a huge gap in the relationship between new residents and those who have lived in town for a long time. If you would like to see positive change in this town then I suggest, sir, that you volunteer your time to local events or organize/join a neighborhood watch so that maybe instead of making comments that prove your ignorance, you can create action that will spur positive change. This town has tons of potential - and people like yourself hold it back because you are so quick to place blame on a group of people. I think you should read the local news a little more closely, and maybe take note that a lot of the crime that happens in town is a result of non-residents. Fact. I think that you should applaud the taxi ordinance as well, as it will create options for residents and hopefully even out and lower cab costs for those that require transportation. Or you can just cry on the internet about it, and claim ignorance later. You disgust me.
John W. July 20, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Your comments are only hurting your cause. An argument rooted in bigotry is an argument rooted in ignornace. Ethnicity has nothing to do with this. Maybe the problem lies with the crap town councel that YOU voted for.
John W. July 20, 2012 at 05:25 PM
You want to make taxes better for all borough residents? TAX PEDDIE. TAX THE CHURCHES. You will all feel relief in your property taxes if you do so.
John W. July 20, 2012 at 05:25 PM
see my comment posted above.
Rebecca July 20, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Agreed B.Bennett. I have had the same experience at council meetings. They seem empathetic and concerned when we are speaking, but then make decisions and vote against the majority of those who speak during public comment. It's very disheartening. And I have to say, I am very disturbed by people who make comments that we are racist or bigots for having a problem with undocumented individuals draining our community resources. I don't care where undocumented folks are from. South America, Italy, Portugal, China, Iceland, it doesn't matter. It is not a race issue. The problem is that these folks aren't paying their fair share, they aren't reporting crimes out of fear, they are living illegally in back houses, basements, and illegal boarding houses (that are decreasing surrounding property values), and it is creating a dangerous, financially unstable situation for everyone in our lovely town.
Concerned July 24, 2012 at 10:40 AM
Resolution 2005-06
Charlie August 04, 2012 at 02:05 PM
I am a taxi owner from east windsor and west windsor that has been licensed in these towns for 18 years. I was at a few meetings in hightstown about 6 years ago when I requested that Hightstown insurance requirements for taxis be raised. The lies about the inability of hightstown to raise the requirements are false. West Winsdor requires their taxis to have 100,000/300,000 coverage. This is to protect the residents of the town and visitors to the town. If you got into an accident in a hightstown or east windsor taxi, you would be barely covered for injuries. The companies involved have very little assets to go after, so you would basically be not covered. But they only charge $4 for a local taxi fare, so that makes it ok. My company has full coverage on its taxis, and my fares give reasonable compensation to my drivers. These taxis pay there drivers $3-5 and hour forcing them to work 100 hrs a week, and to live in these towns either 10-15 in a 1 bedroom apartment by the high school, or to rent space in town houses in twin rivers 15-20 in a house. Most of the drivers have falsified documentation, allowing them have social security numbers and fake drivers licenses. But dont worry as long as the rest of us save money and exploit these people by paying $4 to go from Twin rivers to Princeton arms which is a price charged in the area in the 1960's when gas was 50 cents a gallon and cars were $2000 each, Let the exploitation continue.
Charlie August 04, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Just to let the hightstown public know I pick-up in hightstown and so does every LEGALLY licensed taxi from other towns. My drivers have been fingerprinted, had criminal checks done yearly, and have no criminal records. My cars are inspected by the MVC and the West Windsor Police. We also have $300,000 insurance on our cars, not $15,000,30,000,5000 like your town taxis. Some people like the $4 taxis, and others rather have dependable, fully insured cars and drivers. It is your choice.
Unidad Latina en Acción NJ November 07, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Working together we will create a better community.


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