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 Chatty cabbies on cell phones? Not many, NYC initiative finds

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Taxicab Times

Posts : 7
Join date : 2008-02-06

PostSubject: Chatty cabbies on cell phones? Not many, NYC initiative finds   2/11/2008, 10:34 am

NEW YORK (AP) Undercover inspectors are finding cabbies largely play by New York City's rules when it comes to cell phones.

Inspectors and police officers have taken more than 1,200 rides disguised as everyday passengers since “Operation: Secret Rider'' began Jan. 23. Taxi & Limousine Commission officials said Wednesday that fewer than 100 summonses for cell-phone use have been issued so far.

TLC Chairman Matthew Daus says that's encouraging, but the initiative will continue.

The undercover agents look for drivers talking on cell phones while the cab is moving, refusing to accept credit cards or otherwise violating regulations.

Representatives of the Taxi Workers Alliance, an advocacy group, call the program sneaky and disrespectful to drivers.
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Mike Foulks

Posts : 6
Join date : 2008-01-22

PostSubject: Re: Chatty cabbies on cell phones? Not many, NYC initiative finds   2/11/2008, 9:05 pm

I'm glad New York has discovered that the problem with cabdrivers talking on cell phones is an exagerration. The overwhelming majority of cabdrivers never talk on a cell phone when their cab is in operation. Most of the small number of cabdrivers who do talk on their cell phone when transporting passengers will admit it is wrong.

The problems with credit card acceptance are based on the fact that it is not as simple as a cash transaction. Putting aside the fact that a passenger inconveniences everyone else by choosing to pay with a credit card, involving an absent third-party to approve the charge after the service has been rendered occasionally causes the cabdriver to decide whether to let the passenger go without an approval code guaranteeing payment or to demand cash which the passenger may be incapable of producing, honestly or not. The notion that passengers and the surrounding public will tolerate a taxi not moving until a pre-approvals are complete is naive, considering how impatient all already get when these credit card transactions take so long at the end of trips.

Here in Chicago, politicians are ignoring hard-working, rule-abiding cabdrivers' obvious need for a reasonable fare increase and improvements in the regulations mandating credit card system performance to protect their right to be paid appropriately and expeditiously, and paying too much attention to the harshest critics of a handful of bad apples.

I do not understand why Bhairavi Desai of the Taxi Worker Alliance would object to honest inspectors doing their job. I'm not a fan of forcing cabdrivers to accept credit cards but I would focus on abolishing the rule rather than the character of its legal enforcement if the issues couldn't be resolved otherwise.

-Mike Foulks, President, Chicago Cabdriver Organization (CCO), Moderator, CCO Discussion Forum, CabMarket.com
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