Second NYC Taxi Strike Has Little Effect on the City

Posted on October 24, 2007 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

NEW YORK CITY — A second strike in six weeks by New York City cabbies did little to slow the city Monday, as familiar fleets of yellow cabs lined up as usual outside transportation hubs.

The cabbies called their second walkout to protest new rules requiring installation of equipment that would let passengers watch TV, pay with credit cards, and check their location using a global-positioning system.

The taxi drivers say the technology is a costly invasion of their privacy and works erratically at best. The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has said its tests showed the technology worked more than 99% of the time.

It wasn't immediately clear how many drivers were honoring the 24-hour strike. Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the Taxi Workers Alliance, said that 75% of all cabs were on strike, basing her estimate on scouts who report back to the alliance, the group leading the strike.

But the city said the vast majority of the city's 44,000 licensed taxi drivers were working.

Cabbie Jose Torres, who honored a two-day taxi strike last month, said he was working this time because he was afraid commuters would become accustomed to other means of transportation.

"People will learn to take trains," Torres said.

The parking authority allowed livery vehicles to pick-up hailed fares during last month’s strike, which happened while the city was hosting Fashion Week and the U.S. Open.

Desai and other union leaders held a rally Monday afternoon outside the offices of the TLC, where she told drivers their sacrifice was helping build a stronger union for cabbies.

SOURCE: Associated Press (AP)

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