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Hagerstown developer wants to open taxi stands downtown

Three council members support Deming's plan

Three council members support Deming's plan

April 16, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- Hagerstown developer Mike Deming asked the City Council on Tuesday for permission to open three taxicab stands in the downtown area.

Deming, who recently received permits from the Maryland Public Service Commission to operate five taxis in the city, said the cabs would park in the stands to wait for fares.

The sites would be on West Washington Street, just east of the County Commuter transfer point; East Washington Street in front of the Alexander House; and the west side of the first block of South Potomac Street. The site on South Potomac Street would be operable after 11 p.m.

Deming said after the meeting that he would like to start with five taxis and possibly expand depending on the business' success. The service would pick customers up at their homes in addition to working the taxi stands, he said.

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Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said he supported the cab service and the taxi stands. The business would offer residents something different from the city's existing transportation services, which sometimes make people wait for more than an hour before they are picked up, he said.

"The idea is to provide a service and encourage a taxi rather than a transportation service," he said.

Councilman Martin Brubaker and Councilwoman Kelly S. Cromer also gave their preliminary backing.

Cromer said she would support the taxi stands on a trial basis.

"If it doesn't work, we can take the signs down," she said.

The proposal met resistance from Councilwomen Penny M. Nigh and Alesia Parson-McBean, who said the taxi stands could cause traffic congestion, especially in the first block of South Potomac Street.

"I don't think it's a good mix," Nigh said.

The council has to vote on the issue to make it official. A date has not been set.

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