By Tim Leeds
Havre will soon have a taxi service again, but will need to use it or lose it, the owner said today.
"Taxi service is a very costly service to provide to the community," Kenneth Wilson said. "We certainly want to provide a good service, but the community needs to know it's a service they will have to use or they will lose it."
Montana's Public Service Commission, which regulates public transportation licensing, granted Wilson the authority to operate a taxi service in five counties: Hill, Blaine, Phillips, Liberty and Chouteau.
Montana law gives Wilson 60 days from the granting of the authority to prove he complies with regulations in areas like liability insurance and registration.
The liability insurance is the part his company is waiting on right now, Wilson said.
"It's very hard to get and very expensive," he said.
But Wilson is confident he'll meet the deadline, and the taxi should be operating fairly soon.
"It's just meeting their requirements," he said.
Wilson will be required to offer the service within 30 days of meeting the PSC requirements.
The service will be based in Havre, Wilson said. It will be available throughout the service area.
Wilson had applied for authority to operate a limousine service in the area in conjunction with the taxi service. The PSC held a hearing in Havre on April 19 to collect testimony about the need for an additional limousine service after Pat and Shelly Bibeau, who own and operate PS Limo in Havre, protested the limousine application.
The PSC denied the limousine authority Wilson requested. Under Montana law, people proposing additional public transportation in the state must prove to the PSC that there is a need for additional service.