Mountains Taxi suspends service

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Jump in insurance premiums led to temporary shutdown, owner says

By Jessi Marlatt

Mountains Taxi has temporarily suspended service because of a big jump in premiums for auto liability insurance.

“We didn’t receive the new quote until the eleventh hour, and it was an increase of 22 percent,” said Chris Phelps, an owner of Mountains Taxi. Phelps said the company halted service on Nov. 11.

“We have some customers with special needs, and those folks are really struggling because they need us,” said Phelps, who said the company had been providing 50 to 60 rides a day.

Colorado requires $500,000 in liability coverage, Phelps said, adding that strains the budget of some taxicab companies.

“The difficulty we have is getting a quote that is affordable,” Phelps said, explaining that the increase might have to be passed on to customers. Rates are regulated by the Public Utilities Commission, and the company would be required to seek approval for a rate increase.

Founded in 2008, Mountains Taxi is licensed by the PUC to serve a 400-square-mile area that includes Evergreen, Golden, Lakewood, Conifer, Bailey, Idaho Springs, and Black Hawk and Central City.In addition, the service provides regional transportation to DIA.

Public-transportation alternatives in the mountain area include RTD’s Call-N-Ride service, also known as the green bus. Visit http://www.rtd-denver.com/callNRide.shtml for more information.