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Mike unleashes a ‘hail’ storm
The New York Post - (New York City, New York)
By EMILY SMITH
Last Updated: 12:40 PM, May 22, 2013
Posted: 3:03 AM, May 22, 2013
Mayor Bloomberg went on a spitting-mad rant against a city cab-fleet boss who won a court victory over Hizzoner’s planned “Taxi of Tomorrow” — vowing to “destroy your f--king industry” when he leaves office, The Post has learned.
A fuming Bloomberg made the threat against Taxi Club Management CEO Gene Freidman at Madison Square Garden’s private 1879 Club during last Thursday’s Knick playoff game, a witness said yesterday.
“It was like Gene had kidnapped his child. He used the f-word twice,” the witness said.
That’s bad news for Bloomberg’s political enemies, who could all become targets once the revenge-minded billionaire has nothing but time on his hands.
Freidman approached Bloomberg at the exclusive club a day after a judge ruled that the mayor’s plan to replace the city’s taxi fleet with the Taxi of Tomorrow violated a city code requiring a hybrid-cab option for garage owners.
“I saw Bloomberg and his security there in the club, so I went over and said, ‘Tell me what is going on with the Taxi of Tomorrow?’ ” Freidman, 42, said yesterday.
“He turns to me, and said, ‘Come January 1st, when I am out of office, I am going to destroy your f--king industry.’
“I said, ‘Whoa, Mr. Mayor, calm down! Why can’t I sit down with you and figure out something that works?’ He got back in my face and said, ‘After January, I am going to destroy all you f--king guys,’ ” said Freidman, whose company operates a fleet of 925 yellow cabs.
Freidman said a red-faced Bloomberg’s jaw was clenched.
“He was very angry, very scary, very violent in a non-physical way. He was grinding his teeth, he was spitting, he was red and he was in my face,” the self-styled “King of the Road” claimed. - more....
Aldermen want more study on city taxi ordinance
Journal Sentinel - (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Milwaukee Common Council appoints subcommittee to look at licensing
By Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel
May 21, 2013
The Milwaukee Common Council decided Tuesday to take more time on how best to change the way taxicabs operate in the city.
A resolution adopted on a 12-0 vote, with three aldermen excused, creates a study subcommittee of the city's Public Transportation Review Board to investigate and report on the regulation and licensing of taxicab operators, vehicles and service throughout the city.
The excused aldermen were Joe Davis, Robert Puente and Willie Wade.
For months, council members, led by Ald. Bob Bauman, have been pressing for change in the taxicab industry. Bauman's proposed measure would have repealed the cap on taxi permits — it stands at 320 — and authorize 50 new permits before Nov. 1, 2014. It would then establish 10 new permits a year for five years.
Bauman's plan also would have set up a system for accepting and processing permit applications and prohibited applicants from having a financial interest in more than two new taxicab permits, though the limitation does not apply to permits issued before Nov. 1, 2013. In addition, no person holding more than one taxicab permit issued before Nov. 1, 2013, is eligible to apply for a new permit after that date.
But Bauman's plan is on hold for now, especially in light of a decision by Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Jane Carroll. Last month, she ruled that the city's taxicab ordinance prohibiting the issuance of new taxicab permits was unconstitutional.
Cabbies, with backing from a free-market law firm, want the cap on permits removed. - more....
Cab ban dispute moves to federal court as city moves to toughen it
Eagle-Tribune - (North Andover, Massachusetts)
By Keith Eddings
LAWRENCE — City councilors last night added new teeth to a law banning out-of-town cabbies from picking up fares in the city. Members authorized police to tow cabs that violate the law, after a combative exchange with a lawyer representing an Andover cab company that has seen 21 of its drivers charged since the law was passed.
Meanwhile, a few hours before the council voted 7-0 to allow the tows, the cab company’s request for an injunction blocking the city from enforcing the law reached a federal court, which granted the city’s request to take over the case from the state court where it was filed last week.
The city did not explain why it wanted the case moved from the state Superior Court across a courtyard from City Hall to a federal District Court in Boston. The federal court was able to take the case, however, because it alleges that banning out-of-town cabbies from Lawrence violates the equal protection guarantees in the U.S. Constitution by creating an inferior class of cabbies out of those who do not hold one of the 150 medallions that the city has issued.
The Lawrence District Court had scheduled a hearing on the request for the injunction for yesterday afternoon, which it canceled when the case was moved. Federal District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton agreed to hold his own hearing on the injunction at 2 p.m. tomorrow. - more....
Calgary-area MLA, consumer group call for regional taxi service
Metro News - (Calgary, Alberta)
By Jeremy Nolais Metro Calgary
Relaxing rules for taxis operating in the region around Calgary would improve the ride experience for patrons, according to both an area legislator and a consumer group.
Wildrose Airdrie MLA Rob Anderson raised the prospect of allowing regional service arrangements for cabbies in the Alberta legislature last month, noting other vehicle transportation areas, like trucking and bus shuttles, are not met with the same restrictions.
“It’s just common sense really,” he said. “If an Airdrie taxi takes a senior citizen into a Calgary hospital for a checkup, shouldn’t that same taxi be able to take them home and vice-versa?”
But currently cabs from outside Calgary are only allowed to drop off customers within city limits but not pick them up. Violators can be slapped with a $1,500 fine.
Critics of the bylaw, like Mohamed Benini, who owns Airdrie-based Ava Cab, are quick to point out that Calgary’s taxi sector has faced a barrage of complaints over peak-hour service snafus in recent years.
“Basically, there’s a better way of doing things and we’re part of that solution,” he said earlier this month. - more....
Vancouver set to refocus bylaw on taxi, limo driving permits
The Province - (Vancouver, British Columbia)
By Sam Cooper, The Province May 21, 2013
The City of Vancouver is reviewing safety enforcement standards for taxi and limousine drivers.
In Vancouver, the chief of police must issue a “chauffeur’s permit” for a professional driver to be licensed.
But because of a broadly defined city bylaw that says the police chief “must” refuse to issue a permit if a driver is found to have been convicted of any federal, provincial or city offence within the past five years that is judged to relate to the business of driving, enforcement has admittedly been spotty, according to city officials.
The bylaw, which leaves much to police discretion, has led to some controversial decisions over the years.
For example, in 2005 a man who Vancouver police judged unfit to be a professional driver — due to concerns he might sexually victimize passengers — claimed that police had discriminated against him because he is a pagan whose sexual practices included bondage, domination, sadism and masochism.
And police say that if they interpreted a single driving infraction conviction within the past five years as grounds for refusing a chauffeur’s permit, half of Vancouver’s professional drivers would be banned.
Proposed chauffeur’s permit bylaw changes will be considered by council in the near future, city lawyer Ian Dixon said Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Dixon was addressing a panel of councillors who were judging the permit refusal appeals of three separate drivers. In each of the three cases, councillors upheld Chief Constable Jim Chu’s permit refusal decisions. - more....
Fox31 falls for gun show “terrorist” hoax
The Denver Post - (Denver, Colorado)
By Joanne Ostrow
Fox31 misfired this weekend with a false report about a local gun show “terrorist.” The report broadcast Saturday alleged Daniele Perazzi, president of the world-famous Perazzi gun brand, was detained and questioned at the Colorado Gun Collectors Association after a taxi driver alerted police that he might be a terrorist. Perazzi issued a statement denying such an incident occurred. The Adams County Sherriff, the taxi company and the gun collectors group likewise denied it ever took place.
Worse than the mistake, the station failed to own up to its error when confronted with it– by a rival. - more....
|Europe, Africa, and the Middle East|
driver defends colleagues
Lancashire Evening Post - (Preston, Lancashire, England)
Published on the 22 May 2013 09:05
A taxi driver has apologised for fellow drivers failing to pick up a disabled teenager, but argued that the council need to provide more help.
Last week the Evening Post revealed how 19-year-old Muscular Dystrophy sufferer Jack Milner has frequently had to wait over an hour for a taxi driver prepared to take him home to Longton from Preston city centre, despite all Hackney cabs being fitted with ramps and harnesses.
Driver Sayeed Bukhari said: “I personally apologise for the drivers who are not picking Jack up, but I would like to point out that an overwhelming number of taxi drivers are helpful, and often help people out with bags and those who are struggling.
“I think the reason that many might have refused Jack is because the taxi rank outside Lava Ignite and Yates’ does not have a disabled picking up point.
“Black cabs are equipped with ramps, but we need a raised area to help us get the passenger in. - more....
Plymouth taxi firm has expanded from six divers to more than 60
The Plymouth Herald - (Plymouth, Devon, England)
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
A TAXI firm which only started two years ago has expanded so much it has opened new offices and grown from six divers to more than 60.
Need-A-Cab?, which now boasts a £300,000 annual turnover, has converted the former Stadium Car Sales showroom, at Pennycross, into new offices, a control room, and a training set up so it can recruit its own drivers.
It has retained its old Union Street base, which it uses as a booking office at weekends.
Company bosses Huw Isaac and David McIntosh said moving to the new base has enabled the company to expand its range.
"The customer base has widened," said Mr Isaac. "It's growing so rapidly we can't take on enough drivers."
Mr McIntosh added: "Ninety per cent of our work is around the city, that's 5,500 jobs a week. It used to be 1,800 when we were in the city centre."
Mr Isaac and Mr McIntosh started private-hire firm 24:7 Taxis at City Business Park, in Stoke, in 2011. - more....
|Asia and the Pacific|
geek' cabbie told to pull profitable apps over safety
Eastday - (Shanghai, China)
A SHANGHAI taxi driver, dubbed the "gadget geek" for installing several mobile devices with taxi-booking apps in his car, was forced to remove some of them after the taxi company he works for voiced safety concerns.
The driver claimed that the apps helped him to earn more money and avoid driving around the city aimlessly.
The cabbie, surnamed Chen, became an online hit after pictures posted by a passenger showed that at least four mobile devices, including two cellphones, one iPad and one taxi call-center terminal, were stuck on the front window of the car.
"It is quite amazing. The driver said all the devices could download more than 10 taxi-booking apps," said the passenger, Zhan Xinhui, who posted the pictures online on May 17. The blog was reposted thousands of times and attracted many comments.
Chen was praised for smartly using the apps to boost his business. But it also drew the attention of the taxi company.
"Just friendly talks," Chen said after coming out of a meeting with his company's bosses yesterday. "No fines, no punishments."
The company, Shanghai Dazhong Taxi Co, one of the leading taxi fleets in the city, said there are fears about safety as the driver stuck all the devices on the front window, which obstructed the view. "I will just keep them in my pocket," said Chen, who declined interview requests in an attempt to play down the matter. - more....
Updated may 22 @ 19:27 GMT