Have you ever stood outside of Jogues or the townhouses, waiting for a cab that was already 45 minutes late, only to be picked up by an old, unkempt vehicle that seemingly risks your life on the way to Lantern Point?

These are everyday taxi issues met by Fairfield students who have used Fairfield Cab in the past, some of whom “would rather walk than use them again,” according to senior Keith Brocker.  But after Feb. 29, students can’t travel with Fairfield Cab even if they want to.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) is shutting down Fairfield’s longest running taxi business at the end of the month due to recent convictions of drivers and safety violations on every vehicle in the fleet, according to the Connecticut Post.

For Fairfield students, this may mean temporary inconvenience but hopefully it will lead to safer, more reliable transportation in the future.

Companies like Red Dot Taxi are happy to accommodate Fairfield students.  According to Matt Watanabe ‘12, “If you are trying to get somewhere safely and on time, Fairfield Cab should be your last resort.”

And at Fairfield, taxis are a necessity to some.  After all, there are only so many places the StagBus will go.

In addition to having cars that failed inspection due to failure to display driver ID and presence of excessive body damage, the recent arrest and conviction of two Fairfield Cab drivers publicized in the CT Post added significantly to the DOT’s decision to shut down the company.

Most notably, the recent sentencing of cab driver Bruce Northrop for sexual assault while on the job is among the most well known offences of the collapsing taxi company.

According to Brocker, although Northrop’s conduct was “never professional” and his slang terms for residence halls were sometimes disgusting, “he got us where we needed to go.”

Issues such as the huge wait times and unreliable phone dispatchers plagued students for years. Fairfield Cab was the only option for a long time – until now.

Due to the closing of Fairfield Cab, students must now use alternative companies like Red Dot and Yellow Cab, which many have already switched to.

The transition should be an easy one, aided by rumors that one of these companies will buy out Fairfield Cab. However, everything is “up in the air right now,” according to Red Dot manager Steve Zubrinsky.

Regardless of a buyout, Red Dot is quickly taking over Fairfield Cab’s business.  To see if anything had changed in terms of professionalism, The Mirror did an experiment and called each company.

At Fairfield Cab, the greeting was nothing more than a brief “Fairfield Cab.” At Red Dot, The Mirror was greeted by an employee stating her name, the company name and how they could be of service.  Before even making a reservation, Red Dot displayed more organization and professionalism than Fairfield Cab.

In a conversation with Zubrinsky, The Mirror learned that the company also manages limousines, which he claimed serve as a parallel of quality found in the taxi service.

Zubrinksy added, “Red Dot service is head and shoulders above Fairfield Cab, and as an upper level taxi company vehicles are safer, drivers all go through a strict hiring process.”

While other universities like Sacred Heart provide safe, inexpensive or free nighttime transportation for students, Fairfield does not.  On the SHU shuttle, students can travel to New Haven and other popular destinations using their student card, preventing dangerous drunk driving and piling an unsafe number of students into a vehicle.

On the contrary, at a university where neither freshman nor sophomores are permitted vehicles on campus, the struggle to get to places in a town with little public transportation is ongoing for Fairfield students.

Although the beach area and The Grape are only about two miles from campus, Fairfield does not provide transportation to these locations, forcing students to pay extra for taxi fares.

“You would think a school at this level of tuition would provide a guaranteed safe alternative after everything that’s happened with Fairfield Cab,” said Tyler Calvi-Rogers ’13.

For now, Fairfield students are reliant on local taxi services.

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