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Pr. George's cab drivers protest outside final council session

A group of about 30 irate Prince George's County taxi drivers gathered outside the county administration building Tuesday to protest a lack of action by county lawmakers over what they say are unfair working conditions.

About 30 protesters--one with a bullhorn, some carrying picket signs, others banging pots and pans--say the vast bulk of taxi certificates are held by just a few companies, who charge inordinate prices to drivers to use them.

A comprehensive reform bill was introduced by the County Council to address some of the driver's concerns, but the legislation was shelved in place of a task force to study the issue, which drivers say is insufficient.

Meanwhile, John Lally, a lawyer for Silver Cab, defended the current system in an interview with the Prince George's Gazette, saying that changing the process for licensing cabs "would be chaotic and destabilizing for all involved," and would result in poorer service for customers.

The Council were not the only targets of the cab union; County Executive Jack B. Johnson was called out as well.

One protester held a sign reading, "Silver Cab says we will never see change because 'Money Talks'! Hey Jack! Is it true? Does his $ talk to you?"

By Jonathan Mummolo  |  November 17, 2009; 9:54 AM ET
Categories:  Jonathan Mummolo , Prince George's County  
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Why should there be any limit on the number of cab licenses the county gives out? Anyone who follows regulations and pays the fee should get one.

Any limit on licenses is just a barrier to entry that serves no public good. The only ones who benefit are the existing cab cartel.

Posted by: member8 | November 17, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Have you ever seen or rode in a taxicab in Prince George's County? They are the raggedest, work kept clunkers you can image. If P G County Council is going to do anything related to taxicabs, it should begin byt addressing the age, mileage and overall condittion.

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | November 17, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

A well-formed argument for the Cash for Clunkers program.

Posted by: bs2004 | November 17, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

The bulk of the taxi certificates should be given out via a lottery system.

Posted by: FutureJumps | November 17, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Gee, I thought the streets & traffic seemed a little bit safer today: these cab drivers -- no matter the jurisdiction -- are the worst, most selfish, dangerous drivers on the streets instead of being the best. And half of 'em probably belong to sleeper cells anyway.

Posted by: nickthimmeschearthlinknet | November 17, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I’m inclined to agree with the protesting drivers.

I have had many bad experiences all of which seemed to revolve around dispatching issues. I say this because the excuses offered were lame.

Example, called a taxi to my home, (single family), was initially told about twenty minutes. Taxi arrived several calls and two hours later. Excuse offered, my forty year old road was not in their GPS database, despite the fact it T- Bones into a State maintained road. Almost missed a connection to an international flight on that one. Had I done so, I’d have taken them to Small Claims Court.

Posted by: countbobulescu | November 17, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

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