The Cabbies Strike Back

Written by Jill Colvin on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts.

New York cabbies
are getting ready to strike back at the city for trying to mandate the
installation of pricy new GPS systems that would track their every move. While
the threats have been coming for weeks, yesterday, Bhairavi Desai, the executive
director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, announced that a 48-hour strike
is scheduled to begin at 5 a.m. on
September 5th if the plan isn’t dropped. Ugh. The New York Taxi Workers
Alliance represents 10,000 of the city’s 44,000 cab drivers, and other drivers
are expected to join in. 

The Taxi and Limousine Commission has required that all cabs
be equipped with the systems no later than the end of January 2008. In addition
to complaints that the systems are both pricy (about $7,000) and an invasion of
drivers’ privacy, Desai said that they malfunction frequently, wasting time and
money. The TLC, meanwhile, says that drivers already have to turn in route data
and that the new system will make it easier for passengers to claim lost items
and encourage business by allowing people to pay using credit cards. “Riders,
who have paid an additional $1 billion directly to drivers’ pockets [thanks to
recent fare hikes], were promised technology enhancements in return — and they
deserve to have that promise kept,” TLC Commissioner Matthew Daus said in a
statement. Let the showdown begin.

Photo courtesy of el copilot on Flickr