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Taxi Drivers: The Economy Ate my Business

By Alicia Dorr in Miscellaneous on Jul 30, 2007 5:15PM

Last week we heard that a bulk of the city's cab drivers are starting to consider forming a union. That sentiment may be put to the test when we see whether any drivers heed a flyer calling for cab drivers to stay parked tomorrow.
The protest is aimed at the city, which some drivers say have ignored the seriousness of their situation. The last time Chicago cab drivers saw a fare increase was in 2005, and cabbies have pointed to constantly rising fuel costs, insurance rates and leasing fees as legitimate reasons for another.

What we wonder is, will anything really happen tomorrow? The flyer has no sign of relevant affiliation or name, but a quick conversation with cabbies hanging around on the streets today shows at least some are aware of it. So, will the streets have far fewer cabs tomorrow, or will the unorganized workers who participate just see their fellow cabbies take advantage of less competition? While we (obviously) don't really want to spend more on a cab, we still think that cab drivers are absolutely right in calling for a fare increase, and the city should be forced to address. Either way, the anonymous flyer has the potential to bring about change for the city's cabbies — if the first attempt at any kind of organizing doesn't fall flat on its face.

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