The Town of New Shoreham licenses all taxis, buses and limousines operating on Block Island.
Current Available Licenses
Thirty-two taxi licenses and two charter bus licenses are currently available and issued to Town of New Shoreham residents. Two limousine licenses are available; none are currently issued. Licenses are non-transferrable. New licenses become available to the first qualified applicant on the wait list when a taxi or bus owner retires or dies; in the event of a taxi or bus owner’s death, the surviving spouse is entitled to apply for the license.
Applications for new taxi, bus and limousine licenses are submitted to the Commission on Motor Vehicles for Hire; names of applicants who are found to meet all requirements are forwarded to the Town Council for approval. An applicant must have, for five consecutive years prior to the application:
- Been a full time island resident (at least 9 months of the year)
- Been a registered voter of the Town of New Shoreham
- Held a Rhode Island operator’s license, chauffeur’s license or CDL with appropriate passenger endorsement; the applicant must also be of good moral character.
The MVFH maintains a waiting list, updated annually, of applicants who continue to meet taxi, bus and limousine license requirements. Currently the taxi wait list contains 30 names and the bus list 1 name, with an average wait time of 16 years.
A taxi license for a 7 to 12 passenger van (including driver) is $125 annually; a charter bus license is $175. The license year runs from May 15 to May 15. Each licensee is required to carry liability insurance naming the Town of New Shoreham as certificate holder.