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LAT: Cabbies Want You to Hail a Cab

By Eric Richardson
Published: Monday, April 07, 2008, at 12:50AM
Taxi! Mike Dumlao [Flickr]

NYC Taxi shot by flickr user mdumlao98.

Sharon Bernstein gets the LAT's Column One today to talk about taxis. She writes that the cabbies are plenty ready for the city to change its tune and let them pick up fares wherever. Mostly left out is discussion of the politics that keeps L.A.'s taxi stand system the way it is today.

The topic is particularly relevant to Downtown, where hailing a cab has been heavily promoted as one of the ways to help new residents get from lofts to nightspots without having to get in their car.

Bernstein cites ticketing as the main reason cabbies don't cruise for fares.

[Taxi driver George] Stepanian admits he occasionally picks up a passenger hailing a cab on a quiet street when no one is around but never during rush hour, when no-stopping zones are strictly enforced along many of downtown's busy streets.

"I don't risk it," Stepanian said. "I cannot afford another ticket."

As we discussed back in February (when we also mentioned that Bernstein had a piece coming), it is legal for a taxi to stop and pick up at any parking spot or loading zone, but illegal during no stopping times or at red curb. City officials claim that's state law, and that local rules can't trump it.

While the working group put together this year to look at the issue hasn't returned any real results, it's good to see articles like this one keeping the issue in front of the public.


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