The owner of First Class Transportation, a taxi company with a dozen vehicles, is racing to avoid suspension being considered by the City Council.
Municipal officials ordered the company to cease having its 12 vehicles on the road in mid-August for lack of insurance. It also did not have a valid certificate of occupancy to operate out of 468 Market Street, according to city records.
“The only issues were the insurance and making good with the check,” said Edgar Collazo, owner of Collazo Logistic Care, which operates as First Class Transportation and Five Star Transportation, on Tuesday afternoon. “Check issue was resolved the following day and insurance issue on Friday.”
Municipal clerk Sonia Gordon last Tuesday told the City Council the taxi company’s insurance provider, Draco Insurance Solutions, cancelled its policy due to non-payment. She said her office was also informed the company had provided a bad check to Community Improvement for its certificate of occupancy to operate out of 468 Market Street.
Gordon told the governing body the check bounced. She said the bank could not locate the account number that appeared on the check. A copy of the $151 check states, “Unable to locate acct.” The check was issued by a TD Bank account. The city uses the same bank for its business.
Community Improvement director David Gilmore sent a letter, dated Apr. 6, 2018, to Collazo Logistic Care stating the check had bounced. The letter required Collazo to pay $151 and an extra $25 as bad check fee.
“I found out about it this afternoon,” said Collazo of the bad check last Tuesday.
The letter was sent to a Luis Castillo, Sr. at 1000 Madison Avenue. Collazo said the letter was not sent to his office. Collazo’s mailing address is 468 Market Street. His vehicles operate from 27 North Straight Street, according to municipal records.
“This is a serious, serious situation,” said Luis Velez, 5th Ward councilman, to the owner. “You are risking not only your life, but the lives of passengers that jump into your cars.”
Velez alleged Collazo continued to operate without insurance.
“I live two blocks from where you park your cars. Your cars are not parked every day in the same spot. Your cars are going up and down picking up passengers,” said Velez.
Pedro Liranzo, chief taxi inspector, ordered the company’s fleet to be grounded after the insurance provider informed the city the company’s policy had lapsed due to non-payment, said Gordon.
Collazo said his vehicles haven’t been on the road since the insurance policy lapsed.
The council will take a vote whether to suspend the company tonight.