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CHICAGO (CBS) — Cab drivers are protesting taxi industry reforms passed by the city in January.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Brandis Friedman reports, cab drivers say the city owes them a hearing on recent changes to the cost of cab ride.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Brandis Friedman reports
Fayez Khozindar is the chair of the United Taxi Drivers’ Community Council, and he says the changes don’t take drivers’ interests into account.
“The drivers are outraged because we believe that the drivers are the only who know what’s going on in the industry,” Fayez Khozindar.
The changes make the 2-year-old one dollar fuel surcharge permanent, which makes the flag-pull cost $3.25.
Cab drivers say the extra cost, without a raise for them, is hurting their bottom line.
“If I collect a surcharge for gas all day, then I give it to the gas station at night, that is not an increase,” another driver said.
Also under the new regulations, on-the-road training is required before cab drivers are licensed and driving records will be reviewed more than once a year.
A new tiered lease system will also begin, which would allow for with discounts on medallion fees for companies that buy fuel-efficient and wheelchair-accessible vehicles. But some cabbies have complained that the savings would be obliterated if fares are not raised.
Also, all new taxis going into service for the first time must hold a bond of $200,000. A mileage cap of 75,000 is being phased in over the next three years.
The city says those and other reforms will increase safety and modernize the city’s cab fleet.
Occupy Chicago members also participated in the taxi drivers’ protest Wednesday, which involved a march from Daley Plaza to City Hall.