Consumate

Regarding taxi ordnances in the city of Saint Augustine and the lack of enforcement:

 

I had emailed the mayor last December about my issues with the lack of code enforcement the city, city attorney’s office and code enforcement have displayed regarding my concerns.

The mayor suggested that I voice my concerns to Denise May the city attorney who wrote these regulations while colluding with Sax taxi a now defunct taxi service in Saint Augustine, Ms. May assured me all was well when in fact the transportation industry is rotten to the core. So, we at Abraxi Taxi would like a deferment for our taxi medallions. Once all the company’s I have mentioned in previous emails become legit we will pay for the certified mechanics and, the city medallions. During this reprieve we of course will keep our commercial taxi insurance current and our vehicles in a safe condition.

Once we see that other vehicles for hire are complying with the regulations and the city is being aggressive in its due diligence upholding its own rules and regulations we can then take our cars to get the proper medallions.

Since Uber and Lyfts are not taxis they should not be able to solicit business with the use of dome lights or in-vehicle identifiers. Both companies should also pay a fee to use our roads and bridges. Keep an eye on New York. To help with congestion add some sort of impact fee. If the city does not need this money for pot holes or sea wall construction, we could create a small fund for a transportation chief and small raises to the city police department. Someone needs to monitor these regulations or LET’S get together at a city meeting or workshop and undo or redo what is in the code.

Hotel shuttles need to be current on insurance and have the city as a lien holder as should all other local cab companies. Proper medallions should be on every vehicle with the correct color denoting the year valid for.

Code enforcement, a possible Transportation Director and the city police should be trained on these vehicles for hire standards and serious fines and penalties need to be assessed.

Gas powered carts are not taxis so no taking up the two taxi stands in town, words matter that’s one reason we need lawyers. Ignorance of the law is never an excuse and the penalties should be draconian.

Another option would be that like the ride share companies,there should be no regulations regarding vehicle for hire. If something bad should happen the city insurances should cover any injuries or loss of life. We at Abraxi will continue to carry commercial insurance and if others choose not to: so be it, let the chips fall where they may.

We appreciate the mulligan and if it is easier to just drop all regulations that is fine by us. Having 3 sets of rules is unjust. One set of rules for the evil empire which states do whatever you want with our blessing, the second set is to just ignore whatever we decreed, and the final set are for the ones foolish enough to adhere to them.

Dim witted as I am: I am at wits end. I have gone to city council meetings where I was belittled by a council member and admonished by the city manager, so I would like to avoid this route again. I have sent emails and resent emails to relevant 3rd parties. I have tried going to Cory at the water department and finally sent more emails to code enforcement and the city attorneys. Nothing has been addressed and it even more glaring and blatant. The city has written these fiats and should either enforce or vacate.

Dispatcher client relationship

BREVITY
How to order a cab the old-fashioned way.
Unfortunately to use a traditional taxi company you will need to call us at 904 599 6666.You can visit our website at http://www.abraxitaxi.com or http://www.abraxitaxi.org for some useful information if you would like.
When calling the dispatcher please be fast and brief. We need to know where you are at, where you are going and the number of people who require transporting. We are a zone rate company so do not hesitate to ask the price. If you do not think that it is fair, or another company might be cheaper: please do not argue and call the company you prefer. Our pricing remains the same always. We do not generally raise our pricing during surge times. You will pay the same price you forked over on your way to downtown Saint Augustine, as you will on the way back home to Crescent Beach for example.
We need your location if it is a business: the name of the business should be fine if a house a physical address is required. If you have a large group, we would rather send you a van as to make your trip more comfortable. The destination is helpful, so we can provide service to more customers in a timely fashion.
Sometimes the dispatchers are very busy and need to get as much information from you in a small amount of time, we are not trying to be rude but more efficient. We prefer that you call us from your personal phone so if anything chaotic happens we can alert you to the situation or be able to find you at peak times like last call when the clubs close. Also, when you are far away our drivers may give a shout out to make sure this is a serious enquiry and not a prank. Sometimes we will need to be prepaid before picking up in certain areas in Saint John’s County Florida. We no longer can pick up passengers at Jacksonville International Airport but can drop customers off. If you call us we will be happy to give you some other options for getting from this airport to Saint Augustine Florida. There are several Jacksonville taxis available immediately outside the terminal exit.
If you choose to pre-book or set up a specific time for a taxi to arrive, please be ready at that time. We generally like a heads up for airport transportation and many locals prefer calling us the night before for their cab ride to work the next day.
We are a no-nonsense, non-smoking, fair and honest taxi cab company. We will treat you with courtesy and respect and expect you to reciprocate this to your professional driver. Once you become a regular rider and have some patience when busy; you will always get an Abraxi Taxi.
To be honest we do strive to be the best but unfortunately there are so many things out of our control, traffic is certainly one and the Bridge of Lions is another. On rare occasions cars can have flats or other mechanical issues. Point being; allow yourself plenty of time especially if going to work, and when you are ready to go home give us a call and we will dispatch a cab for your return trip.
We do accept credit cards. There is a 10.00 minimum processing fee. If you would rather stop at an ATM we are fine with that. We do charge 1.00 per stop and .50 a minute wait time. Sometimes it may save you some money to keep a 20.00 bill in your wallet. This will get you a long way or even back and forth to work with change to spare. We encourage tipping!
Abraxi Taxi prefer that you call us from your personal cell phone and you remain at your location. People who move we call Easter Eggs and no driver likes to hunt for fares walking along dark roads or hiding in the bushes. Find a well-lit, safe spot and we will do our best to find you. AND at times will even call to let you know we are ready to transport. So please answer your phone! However; it is your responsibility to be ready for the cab we assigned you.

Enforce policy or drop regulations!

I wish that I had been notified that the new taxi regulations either no longer apply or have been extended past the due date of October 1st.We at Abraxi Taxi struggled and with great expense were able to get our fleet to the safety and mechanical standards set forth by the city and the now defunct Sax taxi.

If we do not have a level playing field which has already been skewed by Lyft and Uber there is little reason or incentive to expand and hire more drivers to spend their money here in Saint Augustine. Nor is there any money left in the kitty to give back to our community. Is there any rhyme or reason to enforcing the regulations in place?

So, my questions are why should we as company be the only legitimate taxi service in this great city? Why is this code not enforced? Other cab companies, pedicabs, shuttles and gas-powered golf carts are not in compliance.

The biggest question however is if Uber/Lyft are not taxis {which indeed we all know they are} why are they permitted to run around around town with taxi lights? They are not only stealing from us they are also breaking the ride sharing rules. Also, many of these unfortunate souls do not even have Florida plates let alone insurance at all.

So please tell me where I can find a copy of the taxi codes and what is being done to enforce what’s on the book if anything, I would rather not waste anyone’s time at a commission meeting. If rules and regulations are no longer required that is also fine and we can make a better determination on how we prepare for next year. Again, wish Denise May the best in her newest career venture.

Ponce and Philly

There really is a lot to do here in Saint Augustine so let’s try to find a few links to take you to many festivals and tourists attractions we have going on. March really kicks it off with the festivals and concerts, but that does not mean the Florida winter isn’t loaded with fun.
Now you finally flew in via Frontier from Philadelphia to escape the weather. You start noticing that everything seems to be Ponce this Ponce that. Who exactly is this Ponce de Leon character and why is he so revered here in Saint Augustine?
In Philadelphia you have a Columbus street and even a parade for Christopher who in 1492 sailed the ocean blue. We at Abraxi taxi tried to find out some more about the founder of our historic city and would like to share a bit of his life. He definitely was a Renaissance man, but at the detriment to many.
Being from the Northeast and watching the many parades, what in the world is a better spectacle than the Mummers, in Philadelphia? I think having a tribute to Ponce De Leon would be awesome. My first obstacle was that I could not find his true birthday so we looked further into his life and especially his connection with Christopher Columbus, and as it turned out in a weird twist, Philadelphia.
John Meehan from his famous Irish pub on the Bayfront started the Saint Patrick’s Day parade, we from Abraxi Taxi service and airport shuttle, could propose a similar tribute to our Father Mr. Ponce. How about boarding a Frontier flight nonstop to Saint Augustine airport armed with those awesome costumes and banjos? What could be better than doing it with Philadelphia/Mummers style? We could have those marching bands decked out with feathers strumming and strutting along the Matanzas Inlet with cannons firing from the Castillo de San Marcos. But we are getting ahead of ourselves and with all the festivals, movie premiers, museums, concerts where can we find an open date.
So let’s start with our man Ponce.

Legacy (This is from Bio)
“Juan Ponce de León was a product of his time—ambitious, hardworking and ruthless when the occasion called for it. He built a small financial empire that helped advance Spanish colonization in the Caribbean, and he might have gone even further had he been able to avoid political intrigue with the Columbus family.
Many historical sources agree that he treated the native people under his control better than most conquistadors. However, enslavement and disease took a very heavy toll on these populations and he faced several violent uprisings during his tenure as governor.
Ponce de León will forever be associated with the fountain of youth, even though there is no record that he deliberately searched for it. Though he acknowledges the existence of the fable in his memoir, he was by all accounts far too practical a man to waste time on such a fantasy amidst the building of his fortune.”
So the conquistadors were generally religious people that in pursuit of their own greedy goal for gold and treasure ENSLAVED and mistreated the local populations they were trying to conquer. No doubt this was for the glory of god and the salvation of souls and perhaps some actually believed this. But after doing some research on the Spanish Explorers even Christopher Columbus, it really becomes apparent that greed, power and self-aggrandizement were the true reasons. And the natives, as if their fate was not bad enough, suffered from all forms of European diseases the deadliest being small pox.
It does seem that Ponce de Leon came from a nice family that was educated and cultured. He did come to the Americas with Columbus on his 2nd voyage. He was governor of Puerto Rico and was 4 feet 11 inches. And considered tall for his time. We have a statue of a life sized Ponce at the Plaza de la Constitucion that is exactly like the one in Olde San Juan, Puerto Rico. The scholars praise Ponce for his treatment of the slaves, but do not forget Columbus last voyage was back to Spain in chains, for what at the times were crimes against humanity. And it would be later in Ponces life that the sons of Christopher Columbus would thwart his ambitions.
It seems that after Spain expelled the Moors many soldiers of fortune became unemployed but several including Juan Ponce de Leon were able to gain access to the New World. Yes, there was a Muslim problem and under employment over 500 years ago. Yet several thousand boarded ships and set sail from Spain to Hispaniola, what is now modern day Haiti/Dominican Republic. And it really starts here for Ponce and his quest for fame and fortune.
The trip took only 3 weeks and there were slaves to be exploited, souls to be saved and gold to line one’s pockets. Ponce was all in. The priests did expect the natives to be taught reading and writing by the new masters and maybe because of the times this behavior was condoned. The saving of souls no matter the cost. No doubt Juan was an opportunist that had the King’s ear and even some limited support from the Columbus family. This almost sounds Soprano-esque but with little to no oversight he was in defacto the Don of Dons.
Juan did seem impressed with the Indian population fighting skills and like a Don Quixote took notice and defeated the windmills of the new wild west. And to this day is considered the 1st conquistador and hero of Puerto Rico.So along with other soldiers of fortune like Cortez and De Soto they managed to wreak havoc on one civilization, but this laid the foundation for a new world order that continues to this day.
“Spanish conquistador Ponce de Leon founded the oldest settlement in Puerto Rico and sought to find the Fountain of Youth. He gained wealth, fame and fortune – often at the brutal expense of native populations.”
Perhaps the lust of more power and more gold drove him to even more expeditions into Florida where he eventually brought a gun to a poison arrow fight which he lost. He was able to make it to Havana Cuba where he died from his wounds. There is much more about him on the History Channel, Wikipedia and Biography but that I think this sums up the man. In his world he would be considered a brave an honorable man, it must have taken courage and a brass set to adventure into the unknown. He discovered Florida on Palm Sunday so I would suggest this should be the day we set aside for the Ponce de Leon/Southern Mummers extravaganza.
Ponce de Leon has one other Philadelphia connection and that is to the esteemed Benjamin Franklin. Ponce is credited with the discovery of the Gulf stream. ”This was the first encounter with the Gulf Stream where it reaches maximum force between the Florida coast and the Bahamas. Because of the powerful boost provided by the current, it would soon become the primary route for eastbound ships leaving the Spanish Indies bound for Europe.” But it was Benjamin Franklin that actually took his genius and performed scientific measurements that actually charted this ocean river naming it the Gulf Stream.
Now all that booty from the New World was heading back to Europe via the Florida straits and the Gulf Stream. Of course we live in paradise but for a few months a year we can experience the Hurricane season. We have great forecasters to warn us when a storm might be brewing but 500 years ago not even Nostradamus was predicting weather. (The fact that he was French and hated the Spanish could be a reason.) So many of those Spanish Galleons sunk, left billions of dollars in gold and silver bullion on the ocean floor. So here comes Saint Augustine’s final connection to Philadelphia in the name of Pat Croce, treasure hunter. You can tour his pirate museum right here in the historic city.
So let’s go over our connections to Philadelphia. Nonstop seasonal flights to Saint Augustine. The airport to the downtown hotels costs about 10 to 15 dollars if you were to use a taxi cab or there are plenty of rental car agencies to choose from. Next we have a relationship between Ponce and that superstar Ben Franklin and the gulf stream. Abraxi Taxi’s next adventure is to petition the U.S Mint as Ponce deserves his portrait on at least a coin. Preferably a gold doubloon 3rd string in this symphony. Is Pat Croce of Allan Iverson and 76er fame, now a pirate expert looking for Ponces booty? Is it too much to ask that the Mummers also honor us? Giving us a quadruple double.
Easter usually comes in April so we really should just pick a date. Early May might be best. The first Saturday. The weather will be ideal. Not too hot, not too cold. Those Mummer arrays would be miserable in the Summertime. This could kick off Player Championship Golf Tournament in Ponte Vedra, an ideal time, and still not interfere with Bill Murray’s Charity Golf Event at his family’s restaurant Caddy shack in late March. Of course the Parade would start at the Fountain of Youth and continue on San Marco. Yes, that is the original Ripley’s Believe It or Not on the left. Up West Castillo past the Best Western Spanish Quarter, ending up at Francis Field.
The Mummers are in of themselves a show. A stage could be set up, we could have more performances and of course an awards ceremony. For those of you that have not been blessed to watch anything as unique and creative as this New Year’s Day tradition you really are missing something special. Think Liberace and those 20s feather strippers on ecstasy, drunk on Blackberry brandy freestyling it down main street America. Some very talented people who work long hours and spend beaucoup de bucks for one show. This is a great opportunity to enjoy our great city of Saint Augustine and what we consider wonderful weather.
At the next city council meeting lets come out and support the Parade for Ponce. We can set up a committee to oversee the implementation and lobby our legislature for support. They were able to plan our 450th birthday party and a huge Mumford and Sons concert very efficiently, why not this event? Some laws like open containers should be relaxed and traffic would have to be controlled. There could be a few designated taxi stands and special shuttles. It would be an awesome tribute to our founding father, a truly sui generis festival, and with help from other Ponce de Leon groupies this could become something special.
Maybe we could invite the King and Queen from Spain! This is a bit about Spanish history and we actually do reenactments of the British Pirate Drake overtaking the Spanish here in Saint Augustine. If you love history especially American history it really all started here in Saint Augustine Florida, and whether or not Ponce discovered the Fountain of Youth or was even the driving factor on him choosing to visit here, the two will always be connected.
So I vote to give tribute to Ponce de Leon with a special celebration here in Saint John’s County Florida and let’s do it with some Yankee flair and show Saint Augustine how we party in Philadelphia. That is another thing we have in common because after all we are a quaint little drinking town with a fishing problem. But do not drink and drive! Call Abraxi Taxi, we get you where you need to Go!

Saint Augustine Night of Lights and Abraxi Taxi!904 599 6666 Airports

It is that time of year again and the city is recovering nicely from the hurricane.Every year the elves come out late at night and start stringing millions of lights throughout the city of Saint Augustine. Travelers come from afar to see this amazing display of holiday cheer.
Traffic will increase dramatically and jaywalkers will abound; so please drive very carefully when in the downtown area.The city does offer some solutions to allay the potential traffic issues and parking problems we will have for the next couple months.
There is plenty of information at the city of Saint Augustine website or try parkstaug.com.
Who could have imagined that a single lighting of a candle 250 years ago would grow into a worldwide phenomenon here in the historic city. Taxis can be found across from the fort, near the Casa Monica or around the plaza where the Christmas tree will be. Plan your transportation needs wisely and be patient as the traffic will be heavy.Happy holidays to those we know and the new friends we will make.Enjoy your stay with us. If we send you that one finger gesture whilst on the the Holly Jolly train it is just our cabby way of saying Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

 

 

Saint Augustine taxi ettiquette

If you have a time call set up be ready.
Drivers may call to get more information or to tell you about delays, answer the phone. Failure to do so may cause driver anxiety and they could choose to refuse the pickup. As independent contractors that is an option open to them.
No smoking and ask the driver if vaping is ok. Let us know if you have any pets. We are not equipped to take bicycles.
We are not a restaurant, to maintain clean bug-free vehicles no eating or drinking in our cars. Calling us repeatedly and asking where your cab is does not make the taxi come any faster. If we tell you a time please allow an extra few minutes before panicking.
Unfortunately, you need to pay but we do accept credit cards with 10.00 minimum fare.
We offer price quotes.
What we need to know is the pick up address, how many people and the destination.Quotes are from point A to Point B.Extra stops and/or round trips cost more.
Once we set a price we expect to be fully compensated.
Our prices are reasonable but not the cheapest.If you use a cheaper cab company don’t yell at the dispatcher if we are a dollar more.You can decline our taxi service and wait for your preferred transportation provider.
We use a flat or zone rate method to calculate our taxi fares and these remain constant.So, if you paid a certain price coming into historic downtown Saint Augustine, you will pay the same price on the way back to Saint Augustine beach for example.We do charge 2.00 for each additional passenger.We do not surge.
When we ask where you are going, one way to not get a cab is to reply, home.We want your address as the dispatcher does not know where you live.Also for those helpful souls that are walkers: find a spot and wait, walking does not help us nor will your ride be cheaper.
Abraxi taxi obeys all the rules and regulations that the city of Saint Augustine requires.We have the proper medallions and the correct insurance.Our cabs are the newest, least mileage taxicabs of any fleet the ancient city can provide.
Please play nice and respect the few conditions we have to ensure our cars remain in pristine condition.
And; the number one most annoying thing ever, is asking if I am Uber.This will be met with an automatic hang up and banned for life. Puking comes in at number two!

Cabs in Saint Augustine can be a luxury

I received a letter today asking my views on taxi services.It seems to me that one company is going after many companies.At Abraxi Taxi we may have the newest cars with the least amount of mileage on them and if another company has older cars with more mileage than ours, we are ok with that.If the police feel that a certain vehicle is a hazard they will pull the cab over and issue a citation.
If this is really in the best interest of health,safety and welfare for the citizens of Saint Augustine,we think the gas-powered golf carts driving on US1 and the pedicabs driving over the Bridge of Lions pose more of a threat.
It seems to us that there is a market for all cabs that comply with the regulations the city has put forth;and if one company charges more,or another taxi service charges less, that is fine by Abraxi.If you are a metered taxi company you need to be metered,if zone rates are the method one uses as a business model then adhere to that.One can not have it both ways.At Abraxi Taxi we use flat or zone rates, and do not deviate from this nor do we surge the fare at peak times.
I think the biggest issue I have is that the city does have certain requirements to operate a taxi here in the ancient city: yet allows über to continually break these rules.What has been done to the über driver who stalked and groped one of our own local residents? You want low mileage and clean nice cars, I think this is a noble quest.But how as a company can we accomplish this with all the illegal competition?
So if safety is really the issue and not someones personal agenda,ban über and put restraints on illegal gas-powered go carts and restrict pedicabs from crossing the Lions Bridge.If a taxi cab does not conform to city standards,pull it off the road.Impound Ubers as they are illegal and do not do background checks.And they will never do so.
Keep in mind that if you want nicer cleaner cars out here in the city we may need to raise our rates if you do not level the playing field and remove those companies that thumb their noses to our city commissioners.Using a cab to get back and forth to work really does become a luxury and if some choose to use a cheaper cab company they should have right to do so.
Please do not be bullied by any companies whether local or worldwide.Try to regulate the rules you have in place and those who do not comply; deal with draconianly.Keep in mind that taxi vehicles pile on mileage,passengers trash cars and accidents happen.Drivers that are unregulated do bad things.Groping and stalking are bad enough.What threshhold must be surpassed before the city starts enforcing the laws already in place?I dont think older cars are the issue:but,uninsured and random out-of-town drivers are.Open vehicles driving in dangerous areas and players with hidden agendas are much more of a threat!

Stop the Uber Bully:

There has been much in the news about bullying and that is good.These tactics are destructive and have a lasting damage on their victims.Hopefully the age of the bully will be short-lived.However some of these strong arm individuals employ similar tactics in the business world and today I would like to single out the tyrants that control Uber.

Uber is a taxi service that uses technology to circumvent the laws and policies cities have to regulate the transportation industry.They are also prevalent in the news;THEY ARE BULLIES.Make no mistake with the official party line.”Ride sharing”companies provide taxi services and use smoke and mirrors to obscure this reality.This criminal enterprise offers no financial advantage to any city that their thugs operate in.In fact the opposite is true.

Saint Augustine Florida is one city that these Uber mafioso would like control.The drivers are unregulated,have no business license,lack the commercial insurance this great city requires to operate any type of service involving the transportation of people.Let alone have a hack license required for all vehicle for hire drivers.

Abraxi Taxi will not be browbeat and I implore other cab companies and all taxi drivers to stand up to these oppressors. We invite the mayor and our distinguished city commissioners to join in this quest.The codes for livery service are written in stone.It just takes an aggressive stance to enforce the laws already in place and exterminate the maggots who are sullying our workplace.

Lyft above the hype and take an Uber-vigorous carriage against these taxi service teflon dons.We need the city to stop criminal activity and put an end to this ruffian reign immediately.

904 599 MOON Zone Rates

Taxi companies in Saint Augustine Florida either use the standard meter or a flat rate commonly referred to as a zone rate.Abraxi Taxi falls into the latter.There are of course pros and cons to both, but generally zone rates are your best bet.
No matter the traffic patterns or other annoying hazards including construction detours or bridge openings, the price quoted is what you pay.In a few circumstances using the metered cab companies may be more beneficial to you and if asked I will give out those phone numbers.In most instances however; flat rates will be gentler to the wallet.
When calling Abraxi Taxi for a price quote we need to know the pickup spot and destination along with the number of passengers.Most companies charge an extra 2.00 per additional person.This also alerts the dispatcher if he/she needs to send a van rather then a car.Vans do not cost any more money.This is decided by the distance and the amount of passengers we take.
Our rates are consistent and fair and are calculated from the downtown historic district of the Ancient City.Cited below will be a few of the most requested quotes.Please remember to add an additional 2.00 for each additional passenger.Pricing is based from point A to point B and does not include extra stops.We are pet friendly and charge as if they are human.We are not bike friendly but will gladly provide other cab companies information who are.
Saint Augustine taxi rates downtown 5.00
World Golf Village 25.00
Vilano Beach 10.00 and up
Ponte Vedra 55.00
Saint Augustine Beach 8.00 and up.
Cresent Beach 14.00 and up
Mantanzas Inlet 35.00
Palm Coast 55.00
Daytona Beach 75.00
Jacksonvile 65.00 to 85.00
Jacksonville Beach 65.00
Daytona or Jacksonville Airport 75.00
Saint Augustine Airport 10.00
These prices are general guidelines and can be adjusted according to the volume or lack thereof of calls.So if you are in need of taxi service or airport transportation, please call Abraxi Taxi or visit our website http://www.abraxitaxi.com for reviews and more information.Abraxi Taxi gets you where you need to Go!