nicely understated Olympic ceremony
tap-dancing militant Islamic fundamentalists
Obamacare is a well run compassionate health care program
The Taxi News for Saturday September 27, 2014
After Stolen Livery Cab Gets Ticket Hours After Driver
CBS New York - (New York City, New York)
NYS Federation Of Taxi Drivers Says Car Was Covered In Blood
When Ticket Issued
September 26, 2014 12:56 PM
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There is outrage from livery cab
drivers after they say a ticket was found on the bloody car
of a stolen livery cab hours after its driver was brutally
attacked in Queens.
Driver Fernando Crespin is in critical condition after he
was stabbed seven times by a passenger early Thursday
morning, police said.
Just after 1 a.m., police said Crespin was dispatched to
Hemlock Street and Jamaica Avenue in Brooklyn where he
picked up 41-year-old Kenneth Suden, who asked to be taken
to 68-16 60th Street in Ridgewood, Queens.
As they neared 60-19 70th Avenue, police said an argument
ensued and Suden attacked Crespin, stabbing him in the
torso, arm and hands.
“To take a knife and stab a man seven times trying to kill
him is just beyond belief,” New York State Federation of
Taxi Drivers spokesman Fernando Mateo told CBS 2’s Sonia
Police said Suden then sped off in Crespin’s livery cab,
leaving the 30-year-old driver bleeding on the street.
“He ran a block, lost so much blood, fell to the ground in
the middle of the street,” Mateo said. “Saw oncoming
traffic, raised his hand so that they don’t run over him and
what the people did was go around him and they just kept
going. That’s unheard of in New York. New Yorkers don’t do
things like that.”
But there was a good Samaritan who helped Crespin and Mateo
says the Federation would like to find him and give him a
reward. That man saved Crespin’s life by calling 911.
Hours later, Mateo said another livery driver found
Crespin’s car abandoned at a bus stop with a parking ticket
on it. He said the car was covered with blood inside and
The ticket had been written Thursday morning for being at
the bus stop, Rincon reported.
“What happened to ‘If you see something say something?’ The
ticket was issued at 6 a.m., four hours after the stabbing
which would have given NYPD a head start on tracking down
the attacker,” Mateo said in a statement. “The ticket writer
should have noticed all the blood on the car and called 911
to reported [sic] the bloody cab to police.”
Livery cab drivers are planning to hold a rally in Ridgewood
later Friday to protest against the car being issued the
ticket. Police said the ticket, which was issued by a
traffic agent for no standing, has since been voided.
Meanwhile, police are still looking for Suden.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at
1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or
text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577
charged in murder of taxi driver
The News Journal - (Wilmington, Delaware)
James Fisher, The News Journal 1:55 p.m. EDT September 26,
Police have arrested a 23-year-old man and charged him with
the first-degree murder of William Toomey, a taxi driver
found dead in his cab near Millsboro a month ago.
Police said Joshua J. Dutton, whose hometown was not
released, used his belt to strangle the driver.
Toomey, 45, of Millsboro, drove for Delaware Beach Taxi. He
picked up a male passenger at 7:42 p.m. in the Rehoboth
Beach area Aug. 20, police said, and his orange minivan
traveled on John J. Williams Highway toward Millsboro. It
went into the Parker’s Point development, then exited and
made two more turns before stopping on Country Living Road.
Police found Toomey’s body in the van there, in the front
passenger seat with the doors open, after a 911 call from a
passer-by at about 10 that night. His death was soon ruled a
In a news release Friday, Master Cpl. Gary E. Fournier said
evidence uncovered by detectives pointed to Dutton, who was
interviewed Thursday at Sussex Correctional Institution,
where he was being held on a violation of probation charge.
Dutton, Fournier said, “revealed he was picked up by William
Toomey” that night in Rehoboth Beach, and that Toomey drove
him to Parker’s Point.
“At that time, Dutton removed his trouser belt and used it
to strangle Toomey from behind,” Fournier said. The police
did not describe a motive in the killing.
Dutton, police said, was charged with first-degree murder
and possessing a deadly weapon during commission of a
felony. He was held without bond. - more....
Company Under Investigation
Bayshore Broadcasting - (Owen Sound, Ontario)
Thursday, September 25, 2014 2:16 PM by Jon Meyer
Police Chief says offering taxi vouchers or giving any sort
of discount is illegal.
Owen Sound's by-law officers are looking into complaints
against an Owen Sound taxi company.
Police Chief Bill Sornberger confirmed the issue came up
during Wednesday's Police Services Board meeting,
We have learned that Green Taxi has been offering a credit
voucher for a discount after eight rides.
Some cab companies we spoke with said its been going on for
Chief Sornberger says tampering with meters or offering
vouchers or giving any sort of discount is illegal under
While the Chief has confirmed they are looking into the
issue - he also says it may be a simple misunderstanding of
But Sornberger says cab companies should be well aware that
they are not allowed to off credit voucher's.
Calls from Bayshore Broadcasting News to Green Taxi have
The issue of taxi rates is coming back up when the Police
Services Board meets again in November.
OK repeal of Hays taxi ordinances
Hays Post - (Hays, Kansas)
By NICK BUDD
During Thursday night’s regular meeting, Hays city
commissioners agreed unanimously to repeal some of the taxi
cab ordinances in the city code. Staff told the commission
there were several issues with the current licensing
process, noting they did not believe it was a good use of
time or city resources. The past process required the work
of up to five different city departments.
Previously, when a company applied for a taxi cab license,
the city began the process by conducting background checks
on the drivers and owners. The time committed to this step
was dependent upon the past criminal history of the
Once the background checks were complete, the city manager’s
office reviewed the application and decided whether or not
it was sufficient enough to forward the application to the
city commission for approval. If approval was given by the
city commission, the city then inspected the vehicles and
scheduled semi-annual inspections. Badges were also printed
for each approved driver. Once the process was complete, the
city clerk then contacted the business to give them the go
ahead to begin operation.
“To this day in 2014, there have been 28 driver licenses
processed, which caused the city to take a step back and
review the current ordinance and process,” said Finance
Director Kim Rupp.
According to Rupp, there were no other businesses “regulated
to the degree” that taxi cab companies were. Rupp also said
the current ordinance presented liability and cost/benefit
There are currently two taxi cab businesses in the city of
Hays and, according to Rupp and City Manager Toby Dougherty,
business is “going well” for both of them.
Soviet-era limos that once belonged to Fidel Castro now
chauffeur tourists in Havana
The Vancouver Sun - (Vancouver, British Columbia)
By Peter Orsi, The Associated Press June 20, 2014
HAVANA - In a former life they were the "comandante's" cars:
A fleet of black, boxy, Soviet-made limousines that for
years were at the disposal of the presidency in Fidel
Today the limos have been decommissioned and repurposed as
Havana taxi cabs, at the service of tourists who want a
little slice of history to go with their ride across town.
"When I tell (travellers) where the car came from, they sit
in the seat back there and ... stretch their legs and say,
'I can't believe it!'" said Moises Suarez, 58, who has been
behind the wheel of one of the ex-presidential limos for the
last three years.
The luxury automobiles were produced by Russian
manufacturers GAZ and ZIL in the 1960s and '70s. Those sent
to Cuba reportedly included a ZIL-111 convertible model that
was the first of its kind to roll off the assembly line, a
personal gift to Castro from Soviet leader Nikita
They were often used to ferry around visiting dignitaries.
At least one of the limos was used occasionally by Castro
himself, though he usually preferred a military-style jeep
for his own transportation needs.
When former U.S. President Jimmy Carter paid a historic
visit in 2002, Castro — who always had a flair for
stagemanship — picked him up at the airport in a Soviet
stretch despite the fact that by that time the presidency
had acquired a fleet of slick Mercedes Benzes.
Suarez, who drives for state-owned Cubataxi, said about 14
of the cars passed into the hands of the company about five
years ago, and 10 are still on the road.
Many aspects of his GAZ-built Chaika — Russian for "seagull"
— are original, from the camel-colored headliner to the
radio with its buttons and knobs labeled in Cyrillic
lettering. At some point a Mercedes engine was swapped in,
however, similar to the way that 1950s Detroit classics in
Havana are still running thanks to makeshift
monkeywrenching. - more....
driver reached under passenger's blouse
WESH-TV Channel 2 - (Daytona Beach, Florida)
UPDATED 10:31 PM EDT Sep 25, 2014
An Uber driver is accused of reaching under the blouse of a
female passenger in Orlando, police said.
According to police, the woman's boyfriend requested the
driver to pick up his girlfriend from the Ale House on Lee
Road and drive her to a specific location Friday night.
Police said Ramy Botros, 28, drove the victim in his silver
Honda Civic and "rode around aimlessly and made comments
about how attractive and pretty the victim looked."
He then reached under her blouse and grabbed her breast,
The woman demanded he stop touching her but said she was
afraid of the driver so she stayed in the car. When he
dropped her off, she reported the incident to police. - more....
L.A. prosecutors target "ridesharing" practices at Uber,
San Francisco Business Times - (San Francisco, California)
Sep 26, 2014, 12:56am PDT
Reporter- San Francisco Business Times
The San Francisco and Los Angeles County district attorneys
offices have jointly sent letters to "ridesharing" leaders
Uber Technologies, Lyft and Sidecar Technologies demanding
that they stop various "unlawful business practices" or face
Dated Tuesday, the letter to Sidecar co-founder and CEO
Sunil Paul alleges various two major violations, including
that Sidecar falsely claims its background checks of drivers
screens out people who have past convictions and it
illegally calculates separate fares for individuals in
carpool situations, something the state Public Utilities
Commission also recently warned was currently against state
Similar letters were hand-delivered to Uber and Lyft.
"We value innovation and new modes of providing service to
the public," said Gascon. "However, we need to make sure
that the safety and well-being of consumers are adequately
protected in the process." - more....
City Council starts paving the way for ridesharing
Austin American-Statesman - (Austin, Texas)
By Lilly Rockwell
In a meeting that stretched past midnight, the Austin City
Council gave initial approval to regulations that would
allow ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft to operate
The Council voted 6-1 to approve the measure on “first
reading,” meaning the Council will still have the
opportunity to amend the proposed regulations before taking
a final vote at a future meeting. Council Member Laura
Morrison cast the dissenting vote amid concerns that the new
rules would open the doors to a “new industry” without
“integrating the taxi industry.”
Uber and Lyft, which use smartphone apps to connect
passengers and drivers-for-hire, have been operating in
Austin since late May, even though they are not legal under
As a result, the city has issued more than 50 citations to
drivers for operating without a chauffeur’s permit and
without a taxi franchise agreement. Most — but not all —
were driving cars for services like Uber and Lyft.
The Council took up the proposal to legalize Uber and Lyft
at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. This issue is hotly contested,
pitting taxi drivers against ridesharing companies — or as
the city refers to them, “transportation network companies.”
There were more people who showed up to testify Thursday
than could fit into the meeting room at the Travis County
Commissioners Court. (The City Hall meeting chambers is
Taxi drivers say it’s fundamentally unfair to allow these
ridesharing companies to operate without adhering to the
same regulations as taxis. - more....
night in the life of a student Lyft driver -
Transportation Debut - (Flagstaff, Arizona)
Lyft Fill Void of Broken Taxi System: Warren
|Europe, Africa, and the Middle
block Ragwa convoy over taxi limits
The Star - (Nairobi, Kenya)
Friday, September 26, 2014 - 00:00 -- BY DENNIS DIBONDO
TAXI operators in Chogoria town yesterday barricaded the
road with their vehicles over alleged access restrictions.
The operators blocked motorists and did not spare Tharaka
Nithi Governor Samuel Ragwa's motorcade.
"We have met all the traffic regulations and registered at
the town administrator's offices yet our vehicles are
blocked," said a taxi operator.
The taxi drivers said they are harassed and barred
from operating in Chuka and Chogoria towns by county
government officials in collusion with matatu operators.
They demanded Ragwa in person to offer a long-term solution
after efforts to get Urban Development executive Tabitha
Ragwa said they will appoint a task force of 10 people who
will table their grievances to find solutions. - more....
Upholds Ban on Uber in Berlin
The New York Times - (New York City, New York)
By Mark Scott
September 26, 2014 10:58 am
LONDON — Germany can’t seem to make up its mind about Uber,
the ride-sharing service.
On Friday, a Berlin court upheld a ban imposed on the
start-up that had barred it from operating across the German
The decision, however, stands in contrast to a ruling
earlier this month by a separate court in Frankfurt that
overturned a nationwide ban against the start-up’s
car-sharing service, which connects drivers with prospective
passengers through a smartphone application.
As part of the decision on Friday, the Berlin court agreed
with the local authorities, which ruled in August that Uber
did not have the proper licenses or safety checks in place
to operate in the city.
The court’s ruling followed heavy lobbying by the German
taxi drivers’ associations that accuse the start-up of not
complying with the rules followed by regular German taxi
drivers. Uber is valued at more than $15 billion and
operates in more than 100 cities around the world.
Last month, Uber won a short-term reprieve from the Berlin
ban while the court took time to decide whether to uphold
the local authorities’ initial ruling. The court’s decision
on Friday applies only to Berlin.
Centuries-old cities in Europe have become a major
battleground for the fast-growing American start-up, which
has spread across both continents since the service was
founded in 2009.
Earlier this year, more than 10,000 taxi drivers across
Europe took to the streets to protest Uber’s ride-sharing
service. - more....
puts the brakes on Uber with driver fine
The Local - (Rome, Italy)
Published: 26 Sep 2014 11:03 GMT+02:00
A driver in Genoa has been fined €1,700 and had his car
seized after using the chauffeur car service Uber and
offering someone a lift without a taxi driving licence.
In addition to the fine, the driver’s licence was suspended
and his car seized after being pulled over by authorities on
Wednesday evening, Tgcom24 reported.
The driver had used the smartphone app, which helps users
locate nearby drivers, to pick up a client in the city.
But the service is at odds with Italian law, which says
people chauffeuring paying customers must have a taxi
licence or risk a fine of up to €7,045, having their car
confiscated and licence taken away for up to a year.
But Benedetta Arese Lucini, Uber's general manager, said it
was “difficult to comprehend” why the driver had been
sanctioned. - more....
makes comeback with London cab app to rival Uber
Chicago Tribune - (Chicago, Illinois)
By Jesse Riseborough, Bloomberg News, Bloomberg
LONDON — Nathaniel Rothschild, whose ancestor helped
bankroll Britain's war against Napoleonic France 200 years
ago, is backing London cabbies in their battle against Uber
Rothschild and Argentine Gabriel Campos, former chief
executive officer of online gaming site Pokerstars, plan to
launch a taxi-sharing mobile-phone app in the next few
weeks. Maaxi Ltd. aims to make traditional black cabs
cheaper than public transport by grouping passengers with
similar destinations, Campos said in a Sept. 23 phone
Investors are pouring cash into apps that let customers
order taxis and cars, or share rides using their
smartphones. Uber, which is available in more than 150
cities in 45 countries, raised $1.2 billion in June, giving
the San Francisco-based company a value of $17 billion.
Ride-sharing app Lyft Inc. raised $250 million from
investors including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in April.
The investment by Rothschild, who joins Campos as the
company's major shareholder, comes after the financier took
a sabbatical to finish a master's degree at King's College
Rothschild, 43, has used video and Twitter to market Maaxi
as an alternative to car services such as Uber, which
triggered protests by London cabbies who say the car-sharing
service threatens jobs. - more....
Tesla Taxi Service Launches in London as Rival to
Traditional Black Cabs
Business Review Europe - (Internet)
The newly-launched GLiiDE is an all-electric taxi service in
London that will be ran soley on Tesla cars in a move which
could undercut the UK capital’s black cab service by as much
as 50 percent.
GLiiDE will base its sustainable chuaffer offering around a
smartphone app and corporate portal that incorporates
booking, tracking and payment.
The service is emissions-free and thus escapes Central
London’s congestion charges, and offers customers the chance
to ride in the Tesla Model S, one of the most
highly-commended electric cars to be produced to date.
The company claims to be presenting one of the safest cars
on the road with fixed taxi prices and no hidden extras.
For now the service is invitational only as it looks to iron
out any issues before full rollout.- more....
Calling, Nissan Comes Through With New Taxi Design
Desktop Engineering - (Dublin, New Hampshire)
Published September 25, 2014 | By Beth Stackpole
London’s iconic black cab, as synonymous with taxis as the
yellow cab is in New York City, is about to hit the streets
with a full design makeover, in part to ensure it conforms
to new regulations governing the Hackney Carriage status and
to serve as a launch pad for a soon-to-be-released EV
Nissan, which is using its multi-purpose NV200 platform as
the base for the taxi redesign, is planning to release a
1.6-liter petrol engine fleet with an automatic gearbox this
December, following up with a zero emissions electric
version in 2015. London’s current Mayor Boris Johnson has
called for all city cabs to be emission-free by 2020.
Nissan’s new Taxi for London is a bold new vision of the
traditional black cab. Image Courtesy of SAC Engineering
One of the key challenges of the project was making
low-volume modifications to a high-volume vehicle—the NV200
van, in this case—to ensure it complies with the strict
regulations governing Hackney Carriages, which includes a
required 25-foot (7.6 meter) turning radius, among other
In addition to the suspension modifications required to
accommodate the new turning circle, the London Taxi
specification called for a side door modified for a ramp and
wheel chair access along with a front-end modification that
transformed the van into a modern design that was in keeping
with the London cab’s traditional look. The makeover
includes round headlamps and a re-modeled grille that
mirrors the traditional “face” of the original London black
cabs in addition to LED light framing the taxi sign to
increase visibility as well as completely redone front
bumper panels. - more....
drivers strike called off
Deccan Chronicle - (Hyderabad, India)
DC CORRESPONDENT | September 26, 2014, 05.09 am IST
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The joint action council of
auto and taxi drivers called off the strike on Thursday
evening after discussions with Transport Minister
Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan. Though the government had
increased the auto-taxi fares on Wednesday, the joint action
council went on a strike in protest against the increase in
the minimum charge distance from 1.2 km to
1.5 km as per the new fare chart.
The action council leaders phoned Mr
Radhakrishnan, who was in Kottayam, and he agreed to
hold talks with them after returning to the capital on
Monday. Sources said that the strike was withdrawn following
differences of opinion within the joint action
council. The INTUC did not participate in the
strike. While the CITU was for continuing with the strike,
other unions, including AITUC and BMS, wanted to
strike only for a day. Other than a few isolated incidents
of violence, the strike was peaceful. Some of the
autos which plied were blocked by strike supporters.
Updated sep 26 @ 20:14 GMT
Taxi News Archive