Twenty one employees gathered for a pizza party at City Cab in Lewiston on Thursday, the day after the cab company closed the doors. Stan Richardson, second from left, worked for the company since 1988. Ted LeClair, second from right, started driving for City Cab 26 years ago. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

LEWISTON — Tired of increasing insurance rates and revenue that wasn’t keeping up, Scott Ferland parked his five taxis and closed City Cab Co. after 88 years on Wednesday.

He bought the business nine years ago from the Leonas family, which started the company in 1932.

“It’s not worth it for what we’re getting paid,” Ferland said Thursday. “That’s the biggest thing right there — it’s not worth it.”

Ferland had 10 drivers in addition to many dispatchers, and the company had been shrinking.

“We used to run 13 to 14 cabs and a couple buses” just a few years ago, he said. “We had some really super employees, really good dispatchers. A lot of people who had been here a long time. That’s really why we kept going with it.”

In reality, he probably should have closed a year ago, Ferland said. “We just kept kind of dragging along. This insurance (latest) increase just would have made everything terrible.”

Costs kept going up and pay was not, he said. Cabs in Lewiston-Auburn operate on a complex zone system set by the cities — it costs so much to drive from point A to point B — that hasn’t had the rates revisited in years.

“Uber and Lyft, they can come into town and give you a ride and not have to carry the heavy policies that we have to carry, or have ‘for hire’ plates,” Ferland said. “The city seriously has to do something — we need meters, it’s only fair, for the riders and the cab companies. We really figured it out four years ago when we put GPSs on the cars and tracked the miles. Some people are basically getting ripped off and some people get the rides cheaper than they should, nothing makes sense.”

Ferland, who also owns Almighty Waste and the Pepperell Mill complex, said he plans to sell the taxis.


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