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All 18 cabs in Manchester pulled off road

Odds are you won’t get a cab in the state’s largest city, Manchester, after the police sidelined all 18 of its licensed taxis for inspection failures or failing to show up for inspection.

Seventeen cabs in Manchester were cited for mechanical violations; the 18th was sidelined for failing to show up.

Police Lt. Maureen Tessier said yesterday that six of the 18 cabs had such severe defects that inspectors pulled their registrations and they had to be towed. These more serious infractions include mechanical failures and conditions that could compromise safety by impairing brake and steering operations.

Queen City Taxi surrendered all its operating medallions to the Manchester clerk’s office. The sole taxi that wasn’t inspected belongs to Manchester Taxi Dispatch. Tessier said those are the city’s only licensed taxi companies. She said each company has nine medallions, or operating permits.

Of the six cabs that had to be towed, four belong to Manchester Taxi Dispatch and two are operated by Queen City Taxi.

A woman who answered the phone at Queen City Taxi yesterday said no one was available to talk about the inspections and hung up. No one answered the phone at Manchester Taxi Dispatch.

Tessier said officials appreciate the inconvenience to residents who rely on taxis and will work with the companies to get the vehicles back on the road as soon as possible.

Manchester, about 20 miles south of Concord, encompasses 33 square miles and has a population of about 110,000 residents. The Merrimack River divides the city, which is home to about 10,000 businesses, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Some of the taxi violations were relatively minor, such as a cracked windshield, Tessier said.

“It is expected that some of the more minor infractions will be quickly corrected by the taxi companies, allowing them to put some of their vehicles back in service in the near future,” Tessier said.

The six cabs that had their registrations pulled will have to be re-inspected by the state police before being put back into service.

Besides the mechanical inspections, the Manchester Police Department Traffic Division and the city clerk’s office verified that each cab and driver had the proper licensing and insurance requirements. Taxi drivers must have valid driver’s licenses and current cab driver’s licenses. Drivers also are subject to drug testing during these inspections.

Tessier cautioned residents and visitors against using unlicensed transport services, which aren’t allowed to operate in the city.

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