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Moving Way Too Fast

By Jocelyn Geboy in Miscellaneous on Sep 6, 2007 1:53PM

Not too long ago, we told you that Chicago cab drivers were working on forming a union to help try and work on some of the ongoing problems they feel they are up against ... super high gas bills and not enough money to take home, being a primary concern. They have tried to get a per-mile surcharge put through City Council, but so far that idea hasn't come through for them.

2007_09taxis.jpgNow, the cab drivers have brought 2,000 petitions to City Hall to ask for changes in how the taxicab system works. The primary thing they are asking for is a 24.4% fare increase. Last time the fare was raised was just two years ago. We understand that we have incredibly high gas costs, and we might even be able to get on board for some sort of increase, but a nearly 25% increase sounds a bit much. Added to their other requests, we just can't feel too supportive of the measure.

Other requests:

  • They would get three minutes to load and unload passengers before they would get a ticket. And they would be permitted to park overnight on residential streets in front of their homes in spite of a city ban on commercial vehicles on residential streets.

  • No cab could be confiscated unless an inspector identifies an "egregious safety infraction," and such infractions would be detailed in a published code.

  • Drivers who own or control more than one cab license would be exempt from the need to install GPS systems and accept credit and debit cards.

We didn't know cabs got tickets while they were unloading passengers. That seems entirely too harsh. We are torn about the parking on residential streets, only because some areas are so completely crowded already. But we have yet to see hoards of cabbies accepting credit cards, so we'd like to see that actually occur before it gets somewhat taken away. We can't imagine what it would like to be a taxi driver, but we do need the occasional cab, and we don't want it to be cost-prohibitive to get home after a long night of carousing. Obviously, City Council and the cabbies need to come to some sort of compromise. We can't help but think that some of the cabbies' gas woes would be relieved if Chicago followed New York's lead and bring hybrids into the game.

"Taxi Parking Lot" by steve.portigal