Pa. Officials Cracking Down on Unlicensed ‘Amish Taxis’

January 4, 2008

  • January 4, 2008 at 1:40 am
    T.R. says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 1
    Thumb down 0

    Amish folks are self-sufficient and self-reliant and shun the outside world. Where does the PA PUC get off trying to force them to use only licensed drivers who pay the state a fee? I find it incredulous that anyone would balk over a market of only 350 families. I’ve handled multiple claims with them and they never sue nor do they want “general damages”. They shouldn’t have to swallow the bureacratic nonsense of dealing only with people who pay-to-play.

  • January 4, 2008 at 1:51 am
    Rosie says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    it is worth pursuing. I’m going to write Governor Ed Rendell and thank him for putting children first.

  • January 4, 2008 at 1:57 am
    Hank says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    If they “drive” on public roads, they should be subject to the laws and regulations that govern those roads.

  • January 4, 2008 at 2:03 am
    bob says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 1
    Thumb down 1

    they want to live in the 21st century part of the time, and when they do they want to play with 19th century rules. you can’t have both. if they want to continue to live in the dark ages, then don’t expect to bend our laws to do it.

  • January 4, 2008 at 2:32 am
    Gill Fin says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    only outlaws will have Amish taxis. You
    can have my Amish taxi when you pry my cold dead fingers from it. Let the expletives begin.

  • January 4, 2008 at 3:10 am
    Casual Observer says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 1
    Thumb down 0

    The Amish aren’t “driving”, they’re riding in horse-drawn carts. It would seem they’re really forced to use roads built by our government because their dirt paths were paved! This instrusion into their community is an outrage and I hope efforts to quash it will be successful. It’s not that the Amish **want** to live in the 21st century part of the time – it is what it is. They haven’t changed anything about the way they live in hundreds of years.

  • January 4, 2008 at 3:28 am
    Hank says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 1
    Thumb down 1

    Hence, the quotes around “driving”.

    If they are using for commercial purposes the same roads that my tax dollars maintain, they should be be subject to the same laws.

  • January 4, 2008 at 3:32 am
    Me says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 2
    Thumb down 0

    If they require the (other than Amish)folks that are driving the Amish (on a barter system to cover transportation costs), perhaps they will soon require your friends who you party or carpool with to get a license as well… or perhaps another idea… put a bus on the route so that there is transportation when they need it…
    Leave them alone & if they are not advertising transportation services let them drive who they want where they want for however long a stay they wanna make it!

  • January 4, 2008 at 6:58 am
    lastbat says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 2
    Thumb down 0

    Really, how is this any different than other forms of car-pooling and favor-trading? These people don’t need to be licensed as taxis – they aren’t cab drivers.

  • January 5, 2008 at 7:50 am
    wudchuck says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    i agree with the fact, if they are bartering, so what?! in fact, many instances now days, does not a friend ask you to drive and they part of something whether gas or a meal? did you need a special license or permit? NO! Amish, a unique set of people who pride on doing things the old fashioned way, HANDS and the ole Horse and Buggy.

    here’s the issue and let me put this on a bigger scale: when the US Navy goes to disaster areas, and helps with the medical and other prone areas, we don’t ask them for anything, just a smile and thanks. the USNS HOPE, Medical Ship, has been on tour in south america, africa and many other places providing dental and medical help including shots. who pays for that? correct, your own taxpayer dollars. but in return, we never ask anything from those folks in need.

    so why make it more difficult for those willing to help the amish. why make it cost more for the helper (insurance – tags), if not helping a neighbor. most taxi’s can’t be used to out-of-state for long time periods. so who is the state really helping? not the amish, it appears to be helping pay taxes with the tags and the insurance that is needed.

  • January 5, 2008 at 12:01 pm
    woodrow kirkwood says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    I have been transporting the Amish for a number of years, before I learned it was illegal. After much thought, learning where the PUC was coming from, consulting my insurance carrier and taking an indept look at the over all amish taxi business, I applied for a permit.
    during my years of transporting the amish I have always had a fairly new van, that is well maintained, because of my concerns for my passengers and those of whom I share the public highways with. A note to the wise you, should check with your insurance carrier to learn if they will pay if it is proven that you are operating a service with your vehicle and involved in a accident.
    As I said I’ve been in this business for a number of years,When you drive to a wedding, funral or a family holiday it is usally an all day afair. I personally wittnessed drivers drinking beer and some doing drugs during that waiting period, Would you want to share the road with that person on his route home? Some of the vehicles being used as transporters belong in a salvage yard NOT on our highways.
    Setting the record streight, my cost as startup has been $350 application fee, my insurance co notified me that my insurance will increase by $62, considering that I just purchased a new van that is reasonable.
    when the PUC was legislated into being, I beleive safty was at the fore front

    woodie

  • January 7, 2008 at 9:17 am
    Me says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    The Amish are capable of making a decision to ride with whom they choose. Because there is not a lot of money, they barter with services or goods. If they ride with a drug using drinker, its their choice. I am sure there are cab, bus, & limo drivers who have used drugs or drank alcohol in their life, just like some of my friends & family that I have rode with on occasion, but the issue here is that the government wants their piece of the $ pie off them. The dilemma is that not all goods & services can be priced fairly. How are you gonna tell your insurance carrier what the gross receipts are so that your GL can be rated as an Amish passenger transporter when you got a cake, some fresh vegetables, herbs, a hand made wooden chair, or your house or yard got cleaned up or landscaped? How do you do that?
    And how do you explain there are no set hours, its just when someone needs a ride?

    What if you give friends a ride & they buy the gas to go some place or out partying? Are you to be considered transportation for hire if that happens? That’s what they are putting on the friends of the Amish… Say you give grandma a ride to the store & back home, help her unload the groceries & she cooks you a meal??? Is that transportation for services & goods?

    Someone got bent because the Amish did not use their services because they chose to ask one of their neighbors instead & therefore pushed the issue until it gained the recognition it has today, tell those that think they need to make everyone else conform because they chose to, that they need to get over it & remind them the only person they have control over is themselves.

    In my opinion this is just wrong – leave the Amish & thir neighbors alone. They have already paid road taxes through the vehicle registration anyway!

  • January 12, 2008 at 1:04 am
    woodrow kirkwood says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    To my friends, me, hank etc. you are dealing with two differant cultures. The Amish consider most accidents, “God will.” In our society we place blame. If you are going down the road in your automobile and one of those unauthorized taxis slams into your vehicle and kills you or a members of your family. Will you or your family say it is God’s will or are you going to ask for the drivers proof of responsablity(insurance papers) This matter is not about Amish its about our laws.

  • January 14, 2008 at 8:45 am
    Me says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    If I am killed in the accident, then I doubt I will ask for anything relating to Insurance… Now perhaps my family might, but here is my thought on this matter… If I catch a ride with a friend & pay them some gas $ & cover the Motel cost & we take a ride say to Las Vegas for a weekend of what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas & my friend has an accident, should my friend be required to have a taxi license like the folks that have befriended some of the Amish folks?

    I think some of our laws are too invasive & allow some the ability to delve deeper into right restrictions for all of us. I think the Amish know the difference between licensed taxi’s and friends with cars & can make their own decision as to who they want to ride with. Doesn’t the licensed taxi’s in that area advertise? Couldn’t they post flyers or go door to door to announce their services if they really want the Amish business???

    Oh, about your comment, I believe in God’s will too, does that make a difference to you? Not all of our society wants to find blame… maybe find answers to questions when you are not sure of what happened in an accident, but once it happened it’s not going to be taken back, so blame or no blame, it comes down to our rights to transport who we want or ride with who we choose – not more taxes to be levied against individuals – besides that – no one that has any authority over the tax dollars we pay has any brains anyway – they keep using the tax dollars for stupid stuff – like throwing so much back at New Orleans – should have used it for the Southern States Garbage Dump & opened up a recycle center – no one should live in that dump after the flushing it got from Katrina, but there are people that are running back with their hands out for more tax $ & I’m not talking about the poor, I’m talking about the politicians & big exec’s that are looking at this like a $ making opportunity for them to get a piece of the tax pie too…

    Live & let live Woodrow, it makes living easier & usually more fun, when you don’t feel you have to live your life watching over someone else for their mistakes so you can point them out… let life happen around you & enjoy the experience of it — take a ride with a friend somewhere & buy him/her a tank of gas, then tell me if you think your friend should have a special license to do that again… God Bless!

  • January 14, 2008 at 8:51 am
    wudchuck says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    well, um….someone is always at fault for the accident. if that somone was your friend, then your relatives have the right to sue you for your loss of YOUR life. this is what insurance is all about. now, in most cases a livery service requires higher insurance to cover the aspect of driving so much and the responsibility of the driver to do it safely transporting goods and people. now the amish, agreed can make a good decision as to whom they want to ride with and if they make a barter decision, what is wrong with that? granted no money changed hands, but it’s like doing a friend a favor. it’s like i have a busted water pipe, or my garage can use a repair on the roof. no money is exchanged just services that help each other. it be something different otherwise.

  • January 14, 2008 at 9:11 am
    Me says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    I am all for those that run a legitimate taxi service to meet the requirements of their business operations, as defined by law, but not that of the folks that might take someone to town shopping now & then, to the Doctor, to a family picnic or celebration of sorts… These folks are just neighborly & do not need to be subjected to the same laws & license requirements as a full scale taxi service company. If that’s the sole support of the household they live in & how they make a living, then of course, they should be required to meet the same standards & have adequate coverage as per the courts determination, but not for occasional trips as mentioned above…

  • January 14, 2008 at 9:39 am
    woodrow kirkwood says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    FREE ADVICE: If anyone out there thinks that it is not illegal to transport for any type of compensation in Pennsylvania without a PUC permit, consult your attorney and your insurance agent.
    GOOD LUCK
    PS Don’t do it after you get caught because the PUC has a good track record of being right.

  • January 15, 2008 at 8:15 am
    wudchuck says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    um….um…

    so how do you tax a barter situation? can we barter for our permits? NO! if the transaction is not in cash, then you have no right to say no you can’t do it. again, it goes back to neighbors lending a hand. or did we forget about the guy next door? did we lend him a tool, only to borrow something from him? i think you let the local government grab tooo many $$$ for the wrong reason. we basically barter ever since the early man years. we see it in cartoons, where we trade clams or services. we have also seen this action from the medieval times to today. so what is the real issue? some taxi’s not getting revenue because they are looking for the almighty dollar or the fact the local government has no control of actions w/o $$$s?

  • January 15, 2008 at 8:56 am
    Me says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    I just think the government needs to pull their hands out of everyone’s pockets & if the need is there to regulate business, then by all means do so, but individuals, no – that’s just to close to lost rights for us all!

    I hope the PA Lawmakers will see this for what it is, and if someone is giving a ride in a barter situation, let it alone… Tell the other Taxi service carriers in the area that if they want the Amish business, they need to go door to door the old fashioned way & solicit it, sell their service, and if they don’t get it then get over it & leave the individuals alone that are not running a taxi service, but helping out their neighbors. Remember that helping someone out & getting helped back is a good trade!

    Have A Happy Day!

  • February 5, 2008 at 9:33 am
    woodrow kirkwood says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    If you were returning home from a shopping spree with six people in a mini van, none BUCKLED-UPED, packages blocking the rear window and side windows sould you be stopped by a police officer in Pennsylvania?

  • June 26, 2008 at 2:35 am
    Kim says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    Well i feel that if i Had a sick kid that needed to go to the hospital and i didn’t have a phone i would be running next door and have my neighbor take my kid weather they had a a PUC or not.
    I ALSO FEEL THAT THE AMISH
    SHOULDN’T BE FORCED TO RIDE WITH A CHILD MOLESTER THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO CHOSE THERE FRIENDS AND BY FORCING THEM TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH SUCH PEOPLE YEAH I AM SURE THEY FEEL SAFE IN YOUR VAN HUH KIRKWOOD?

  • June 26, 2008 at 2:44 am
    kim says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 0
    Thumb down 0

    Thank you for sharing our conversation on June 20, 2008 regarding the PUC issues developing in the Dayton, Pa….Armstrong County area regarding Mr. Woodrow Wilson Kirkwood, Jr. I am enclosing the proof of local allegations about Mr. Kirkwood; More specifically (and alarmingly criminal!!!) information has presented itself.

    I am sending copies of the public records detailing Mr. Kirkwood’s history of:

    criminal acts, charges filed, time served, newspaper accounts, even local concerns (IE removal from a Dayton, PA Borough Council position…) and many items demonstrating the verbal accounts our little community has been inundated with since Mr. Kirkwood’s efforts to not only discredit individuals such as myself…by having the PUC officials also the state police at my home — BUT to actually perpetrate further acts on defenseless individuals being transported by him.

    Individuals of the Armstrong County community, some, whose identities I am not at liberty to disclose, need the commission to legally protect area folks from Mr. Kirkwood.

    I am merely a messenger. I share community activities, travels, religious events, etc. with many members of our community here. I am simply a concerned citizen who hopes to allay the conflict being presided over by a man who is putting many of us in jeopardy.



Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*