nicely understated Olympic ceremony
tap-dancing militant Islamic fundamentalists
Obamacare is a well run compassionate health care program
The Taxi News for Tuesday July 22, 2014
driver shot after refusing to let fare into cab
Democrat & Chronicle - (Rochester, New York)
Staff reports 8:26 a.m. EDT July 17, 2014
A 34-year-old taxi driver was shot early Thursday morning
after allegedly refusing to let a man with a gun into is
cab, according to Rochester police.
The unidentified cab driver was taken to Strong Memorial
Hospital non life-threatening injuries, police said.
Police said the cab driver approached an officer about 1:10
a.m. near Lake Avenue and Lorimer Street and told the
officer he had been shot while on N. Plymouth Avenue.
The driver reported seeing a gun as a potential fare entered
his cab and refused to let the man into the taxi, police
said. The fare, described as a man in his twenties,
allegedly fired the gun into the cab and struck the driver,
No arrests have been made. The investigation is ongoing.
charged with killing Scranton cab driver waives hearing
The Times-Tribune - (Scranton, Pennsylvania)
BY REBEKAH BROWN
Published: July 11, 2014
A 16-year-old who said he shot and killed a city cab driver
for “taking the long way” waived his preliminary hearing
Police arrested Aazis Richardson on May 23, hours after
finding Vincent Darbenzio dead in his cab.
Mr. Darbenzio picked up Mr. Richardson around 3 that
morning, but the teen decided the driver was taking too long
to arrive at Valley View Terrace. Mr. Richardson told police
he thought he was being ripped off, so he shot Mr. Darbenzio
twice in the back of the head. He also told police he stole
$500, but the money was not recovered.
Police found Mr. Richardson hiding in an attic after tracing
the number that called the cab company. They also found a 9
mm handgun in a bag in the attic where Mr. Richardson was
Mr. Richardson is charged with first-, second- and
third-degree murder, robbery and related counts and is being
charged as an adult. - more....
man gets five-year term for robbing cab driver
The Buffalo News - (Buffalo, New York)
on July 14, 2014 - 11:55 AM
A Buffalo man was sentenced to five years in prison Monday
morning for robbing a cab driver, allegedly at gunpoint, in
Ramon Lopez, 19, of Woodward Avenue pleaded guilty in June
in State Supreme Court to first-degree robbery and
second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
“I just want to say to my family, my fiancee, hopefully when
I come out I’ll become a better person,” Lopez told Justice
Penny M. Wolfgang.
Wolfgang cited mitigating factors, including Lopez’s
personal history – both of his parents are in custody on
felony crimes – in giving Lopez the minimum sentences for
his crimes. The victim in the case was not injured and Lopez
always maintained that he did not use a gun during the
robbery, said Lopez’s lawyer, Lori Hoffman. - more....
I drive a taxi
San Francisco Bay Guardian - (San Francisco, California)
07.15.14 - 1:51 pm |
By Beth Powder
OPINION I left a 17-year career in film to become a taxi
driver. I just wanted to be here full time, drive a taxi,
I've taken cabs in several cities and countries over the
last 20-odd years. When I got here in 1998, it took two
hours for a taxi to get to my house on 43rd Avenue. I still
never would've gotten into anyone's personal car and paid
them for a ride, no matter how hard it was to get a cab
sometimes. Not in San Francisco. Not in Jamaica. Not in
I'm from Toledo, Ohio originally. We always went on road
trips. Maybe being in such close proximity to Detroit, some
of that car mojo rubbed off on us. My mother is the kind of
woman who, at 70 years old, will drive cross-country alone,
stopping to call me at 3am from deserted truck stops outside
Amarillo, Texas. You might see why I'd drive a taxi.
I have a feeling that a lot of the anti-taxi contingent now
in this city haven't taken too many cabs. Cabs could never
put me off because I'd taken so many of them and I knew I
was safer in one than standing in a crosswalk. I've been hit
by cars on foot and on my bike but I've never been in an
accident in a cab. Not in London. Not in Los Angeles. Not
I don't drive for Lyft or Uber because San Francisco cab
drivers receive workers compensation and TNC drivers don't.
Because Lyft mustaches look unprofessional to me. I went to
taxi school, got fingerprinted, had a background check, and
My taxi has 24/7 commercial livery insurance. My company
pays the bills if there's an accident. San Francisco taxi
companies don't have bylaws stating that passengers cannot
hold them liable. San Francisco taxi companies don't have
bylaws stating that passengers take taxis at their own risk.
San Francisco taxi companies don't have bylaws that can be
legally interpreted to allow discrimination against
passengers of any persuasion. We have to accept pets. And we
have to be green.
San Francisco taxis pick up bartenders, sweet old ladies at
the hospital who don't have smart phones, teachers, lawyers,
wheelchair users, people of color, San Francisco Giants,
former mayor Willie Brown, hookers, trannies, ballerinas,
and limo drivers. Everybody. You don't need a smartphone,
but you can always hail a cab using an app called Flywheel.
I'm not a fan of the smugness emanating from Lyft, Uber, et
all. Perpetuating spurious claims that cab drivers are all
scary or awful is neither cute nor clever. And it certainly
isn't true. - more....
An Entire Day In The Life Of An NYC Taxi, In Five
Huffington Post - (Internet)
The Huffington Post | By Suzy Strutner
Posted: 07/18/2014 8:00 am EDT
Urban jungle or urban labyrinth? To an NYC taxi, the city is
And now, you can watch a taxi do its maze-tracing,
money-making thing for a full 24 hours, totally uncensored.
NYC Taxis: A Day In
The Life is a "civic technology project" that analyzes
how taxis move around the city. On the webpage, visitors are
randomly assigned a taxi and then watch, in fast-forward, a
day in that taxi's life, from first passenger to final
A map traces the route, and tickers keep track of the
passengers transported and income accrued. Watching is
addictive, to say the least. - more....
to rally taxi drivers at afternoon event
Chicago Tribune - (Chicago, Illinois)
By John Byrne Tribune reporter
10:17 a.m. CDT, July 16, 2014
Union leaders are planning to push their effort to
strengthen Chicago cabbies' bargaining position with the
city by holding a march and rally today in the Loop.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal
Employees' afternoon event is timed to coincide with the
union's annual convention being held this week at McCormick
Place. Union members and taxi drivers will march east on
Randolph Street to a 3:15 p.m. rally outside the Thompson
Center in support of the drivers.
"The cab drivers are seeking a voice on the job through
their new organization, Cab Drivers United/AFSCME, to push
for justice and respect for drivers, a more transparent city
regulatory process, and a level playing field with
ride-sharing companies, among other goals," AFSCME Council
31 said in a news release.
Since cab drivers are often independent operators or
contractors working for different companies, the new group
AFSCME hopes to set up will not be a labor union with
collective bargaining powers or state and federal
protections under the law. It will simply be a trade
organization of sorts that will seek to present a strong,
unified voice to make it tougher for city officials to
ignore taxi drivers when setting fees and policies,
according to AFSCME 31 spokesman Anders Lindall. - more....
Uber has cracked the taxi market in 70 cities — but not
Las Vegas Sun - (Las Vegas, Nevada)
By Conor Shine (contact) Conor Shine
Thursday, July 17, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Uber is a four-letter word in Las Vegas.
Just a mention of the company’s name draws gasps from Las
Vegas leaders and, especially, taxicab companies.
Uber, a San Francisco ridesharing company, uses a smartphone
app to connect riders with drivers at the touch of a button.
The company has set up shop or plans to do so in more than
70 cities in the United States since launching in 2009 —
from New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago to smaller
outposts like Tacoma, Wash., and Ann Arbor, Mich.
Las Vegas is conspicuously absent from the list — the
third-largest metro area in the country without a
ridesharing service along with Portland, Ore., and St. Louis
— leaving tourists and residents who pull up the app
wondering why Las Vegas isn’t in on the action.
With more than 26 million taxi rides and $390 million in
fares last year, Las Vegas would seem like an attractive
target for ridesharing companies. But the unique structure
of Nevada’s taxi and limousine industries along with a heavy
tourist presence have made Las Vegas a tough market to
Uber and ridesharing competitors like Lyft and Sidecar have
exploded into popularity by offering a convenient riding
experience that can be managed entirely through a
smartphone. The companies have shied away from being labeled
as taxi services, framing themselves as technology companies
that connect riders to a network of independent drivers.
Nevada’s taxi and limousine regulations are among the
strictest in the nation, with guidelines on everything from
insurance to minimum fares to driver background checks to
vehicle safety. The number of authorized taxis operating on
the street is limited by a strict medallion system.
“There’s nothing prohibiting them from operating here. They
simply need to go to the taxi authority and make an
application like every other provider in the industry has
done,” Jonathan Schwartz, director at Yellow Checker Star,
said about ridesharing companies. “If they just started
operating, it would be illegal.” - more....
joins other cities regulating Lyft, UberX
Star-Tribune - (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: July 18, 2014 - 1:40 PM
Minneapolis became the sixth jurisdiction in the country
Friday to legalize Lyft and UberX, following a
near-unanimous City Council vote that came amid concerns
from the taxi industry.
Lyft drivers wearing pink shirts bumped fists in the hallway
outside the council chambers after final passage, which
capped months of haggling between the California-based
companies, the taxi industry and city regulators.
Lyft and UberX, now known as "transportation network
companies, essentially allow people to act as chauffeurs of
their own vehicles, connecting with passengers through
smartphone apps. They cannot pick up passengers who hail
them on the street, but unlike taxi companies are free to
“This ordinance takes some excellent steps towards adding to
the cornucopia of transportation options that we have," said
council member Jacob Frey, the ordinance sponsor, adding
that more options will help people give up their cars.
The new ordinance distinguishes the companies from taxicabs,
creates a process for them to become licensed and specifies
what insurance they must carry. Insurance is a particularly
complicated issue for the services, since they typically use
hybrid plans that complement a driver's personal policy.
But taxi industry representatives weren't happy with a
two-tier fee structure that will charge major taxi companies
significantly more than transportation network companies.
Others have concerns that changes to the
wheelchair-accessible vehicle requirements could backfire. -
taxi companies sue Uber, Lyft
Richmond Times-Dispatch - (Richmond, Virginia)
Posted: Friday, July 18, 2014 2:23 pm
By JACOB GEIGER AND CAROL HAZARD
Seven Virginia taxi cab and limousine companies filed a
civil lawsuit Friday against ride-sharing companies Uber and
Lyft, the latest move in a fight between the startups and
traditional car-hire services.
The civil lawsuit argues that Uber Technologies Inc. and
Lyft Inc., whose customers use smartphone applications to
request a ride and pay for it, are operating in Virginia
without having obtained the required licenses and permits.
Most of the plaintiffs are based in Northern Virginia,
though Stafford Limousine Inc., which does business as Love
Limousine, is based in Richmond and operates in central and
Northern Virginia. The suit was filed in Fairfax Circuit
Court. - more....
allows Lyft to keep operating in Rochester
Democrat & Chronicle - (Rochester, New York)
Len LaCara and Brian Sharp, Staff writers 5:31 p.m. EDT July
The Lyft ride-sharing service has been given marching orders
that could allow it to continue operating in Rochester and
Buffalo and begin service in New York City.
In Manhattan, Supreme Court Justice Kathryn E. Freed
directed Lyft to contact officials in Rochester and Buffalo
to ensure it is in compliance with city regulations, a clerk
in Freed's office said Friday.
The company also will have to prove that its drivers have
proper insurance that covers passengers as well as drivers.
Whether that information goes directly to the city or to the
Attorney General's office was unclear.
The state sued Lyft earlier this month, accusing the San
Francisco-based company of operating an unlicensed, for-hire
livery service and sought a temporary restraining order to
suspend its operations statewide.
City of Rochester officials wrote to Lyft back in May that
the company and its drivers needed to be licensed and could
face fines, but never heard back until a phone call Friday,
asking to meet. - more....
treasury has lots riding on outcome of Uber-taxi war
Crain's Chicago Business - (Chicago, Illinois)
July 15, 2014
As the Uber-taxi war continues to rage — Gov. Pat Quinn's
office reportedly has received "thousands" of emails and
other messages on the subject — one aspect that's received
little attention is the potential cost to City Hall if
conventional cab companies are routed.
I'm not saying that City Hall finances ought necessarily to
rule here. That's especially true since a version of new
rules pushed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel is far more favorable to
companies such as Uber and Lyft than an alternate measure
pushed by Checker, Yellow et al., which is sitting on Mr.
But finances are a factor.
The amount of money the city collects from cab operators to
transfer ownership of a medallion or to license their
vehicle has been rising quickly in recent years.
As recently as 2008, it was "only" $6.8 million. But that
hit $13.2 million in 2012 and $12.6 million last year, and
was nearing $5 million for 2014 when I checked a few days
ago. - more....
brings hope to Orlando taxi drivers, fear to their
Orlando Sentinel - (Orlando, Florida)
July 12, 2014|By Mark Schlueb, Orlando Sentinel
Bulldozers and backhoes working on Mears Transportation's
new $20 million headquarters are grinding to a halt as
nervous executives put the project on indefinite hold. The
reason: Uber, a smartphone app that threatens to cut deep
into taxi-industry profits.
Taxi drivers, meanwhile, are wondering whether it could mean
a better life for them.
It's been only five weeks since Uber brought its UberX
service to Orlando, offering app users the option to summon
a driver in a personal vehicle to give them a ride for a fee
often lower than what Mears and other taxi companies charge.
But those few weeks have been long enough to shake things
up. Taxicab-company owners wonder how they'll stay in
business — and if they do, how much business will be left.
"Uber is an existential threat to the legacy taxi industry,"
said Paul Mears Jr., chairman of the 75-year-old company.
"Whatever hit we take will be a pretty substantial hit to
us. We're going to lose 30 to 40 percent of our business."
But taxi drivers, who ferry around some of the nearly 60
million people a year who visit Orlando, aren't nearly as
concerned. In fact, they think the Uber revolution could
improve their lives. - more....
app company Uber delivering ice cream in Chicago today
WGN-TV Channel 9 - (Chicago, Illinois)
Posted 10:25 AM, July 18, 2014, by WGN Web
I scream, you scream, we all scream for Uber ice cream!
Today, taxi app company Uber will serve up ice cream on
demand to customers in 144 cities across the globe,
It’s as simple as ordering an Uber driver. Hit the request
button for the “Ice Cream” option on the app and wait for
the nearest ice cream truck or luxury Uber Ice Cream-branded
car to drive up.
Uber partnered with everyone from local ice cream and gelato
vendors using their own trucks, to the mega wholesale
warehouse chain Costco, for the day-long delivery of frozen
Prices, ice cream selection and hours of operation vary
depending on location. In Atlanta, $25 will get you five
sweet treats from a local vendor or pre-packaged ice cream
pops. Free Uber swag-bags are also being given out,
including beach balls and sunglasses. - more....
archaic licensing for taxi and limo drivers
The Denver Post - (Denver, Colorado)
By The Denver Post Editorial Board
Posted: 07/16/2014 05:47:37 PM MDT
Denver has the legal right to demand that people jump
through an astonishing array of hoops to drive a cab, car or
limo for hire.
But that right doesn't mean the demands make sense if the
state already requires appropriate safety and insurance
City officials say they are looking into modernizing
Denver's ordinance around "herdic licenses" — herdic refers
to a 19th century carriage! — that was written in the 1950s.
The city claims it is justified in requiring licenses of
anyone who is doing commerce on streets and does so to
ensure public safety. It also charges drivers a $50
application fee and $25 licensing charge.
Proper regulation of businesses is to be expected, but not
to the point of redundancy or overkill.
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission regulates taxi
companies, and earlier this year the legislature broadened
the regulation to include "transportation network companies"
like Uber and Lyft. - more....
|Europe, Africa, and the Middle
Tempo - (Manila, Philippines)
Posted by Online on Jul 18th, 2014
A lone gunman shot a taxi driver who was cleaning his cab in
front of a gasoline station in Pasay City last Wednesday,
police said yesterday.
Police identified the victim as Gaodencio Bantolino, 46, of
Alos, Alaminos, Pangasinan. He sustained two bullet wounds
in the body and was taken to the Pasay City General
Police said Bantolino was cleaning his cab in front of Tiger
LPG Station on the service road of Roxas Blvd. corner San
Juan St. at about 4 p.m. when a man approached and shot him.
The still unidentified gunman fled towards F.B. Harrison St.
Bantolino was left sprawled on the ground and was taken to
the hospital by his friend, taxi driver Christopher Ragas.
Recovered from the crime scene were three empty shells and
two deformed bullets from a .45 caliber pistol.
Police have yet to determine the motive behind the shooting.
Investigators are checking if the incident was caught on
closed-circuit television cameras. (Mitch Arceo)
driver missing for four days, cops grope in dark
The Times of India - (Bhopal, India)
TNN | Jul 13, 2014, 10.51AM IST
BHOPAL: A 35-year-old taxi driver, who left home on July 9
for dropping passengers to Jabalpur, is missing since then.
He used to work for a travel agent.
Sitaram Malviya, a resident of Kolar, had got the booking of
Jabalpur on phone through a travel agent. The customer, who
called for taxi introduced himself as Ravindra Shukla. He
asked for taxi to go to Jabalpur with two others and called
Sitaram to ISBT. Sitaram's family lodged a missing persons
report on July 9. However, a day later, it was converted
into case of abduction after it came to light that the
accused forged his identity as Shukla and got the SIM card
issued to call the travel agent and driver.
Since the booking of taxi was made over phone and no one
knew the accused, cops have failed to make much headway.
"Cell phones of Sitaram and accused are switched off. Based
on the last tower location of accused, we have sent separate
teams to Damoh-Jabalpur and Rewa-Satna," said police
sources. Tavera taxi in question belongs to Sitaram's
drivers stop early to avoid fee
stuff.co.nz - (Internet)
Last updated 05:00 19/07/2014
Taxi drivers are flouting a new drop-off tax at Christchurch
Airport by dropping people off before the airport's
entrance, a cabbie says.
The claim comes after a survey by an Auckland firm showed
the city's taxis topped the list as the most expensive in
the world when it came to trips from the airport to the
The survey, conducted by Digital Hothouse on June 28, was
done before Christchurch Airport dropped its pick-up fee for
taxi operators from $10 to about $5 on July 1.
When the airport halved the pick-up fee, it also introduced
a drop-off fee: $4.78 excluding GST.
Now some taxi drivers, determined to get around it, are
dropping passengers off before the airport, a cabbie told
Robert, who did not want his last name used, said he
sometimes dropped customers off in Memorial Ave, Orchard Rd
or at the Sudima Hotel.
"As soon as [passengers] find out there is a fee, they say,
‘Drop us off and we will walk the rest of the way'.
"There are other [drivers] doing it too," he said.
He was aware he risked losing his licence to operate within
the airport, but said his customers came first.
"When they tell me they want to go around the roundabout six
times, I will. If they say, ‘I want to go to 204 Colombo
St', you do not go to 172." - more....
cab 'factory' busted by Shanghai police
Ecns.ch - (Beijing, China)
2014-07-18 08:39 Shanghai Daily Web Editor: Yao Lan
A fake cab "production line" has been busted by Shanghai
police with 10 people held and bogus taxis and counterfeit
driving licenses seized.
Most of the vehicles were abandoned cars that were repaired,
repainted and illegally fitted with taxi signs, taximeters
and false plates.
Airport police had reported that a gang selling illegal cabs
was active in Jiading district.
They were said to buy discarded cars for about 5,000 ($806)
to 8,000 yuan. After transforming them into fake cabs, they
were sold for between 18,000 yuan and 25,000 yuan.
Jiading police found three old cars near a suburban house,
and scrawled notices about secondhand cars, complete with
contacts, on the wall.
They established that this was where gang members stored and
worked on vehicles. - more....
Updated jul 22 @ 01:47 GMT
Taxi News Archive