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Cabbies Go To Court to Get Surcharge

By Rachelle Bowden in News on Sep 21, 2005 7:10AM

2005_09_cab.jpgThe city seems to be dragging it's feet about implementing a $1/ride cab surcharge, so this week Chicago cab drivers went to court to try to force the issue. If the court grants their request, then Mayor Daley will have to issue an executive order to approve the temporary, 60-day surcharge.

A representative of the Chicago Professional Taxi Drivers Association, Steve Wiedersberg, said that most cabbies pay about $95/day to lease their cabs and spend about $60/day on gas. So they need to make $155/day just to break even. Drivers that usually work 12 hour days are now working 14 - 15 hour days to make ends meet.

The chairman of the city council's transportation committe, Alderman Tom Allen, said that going to court is a big waste of time because the court's pace is even slower than the city's.

Wiedersberg says cabbies, of course, are pissed that Alderman are wasting their time on issues like what the cab drivers are wearing and not helping them at all. He says action needs to be taken now and "If I waited any longer, hell would freeze over and the devil would go ice skating.... This is called putting a fire under somebody. It's a new approach and a more direct approach." What a great quote.

And what do the people say? A poll on NBC5's website shows most of us think there's no freaking way we want to pay more for a cab ride, even if it's temporary.

Image via ABC7