1,600 taxi drivers parked up their Taxis and staged an informal strike to protest new city regulations that will cost them thousands of dollars each.
The strike involved mainly the independently owned cabs and small companies who pick up passengers mainly at Louis Armstrong International Airport and the city's major hotels.
Drivers for United Cabs Inc., the city's largest taxi company, remained at work, and picked up most of the extra work. (Ring any bells?)
Because the striking cabbies chose a relatively slow Tuesday for their work stoppage, the overall effects appeared to be small, even though hundreds of cabs apparently took part. The strike was not announced in advance, and it was not clear when or whether the drivers intend to repeat the action.
At the request of the Landrieu administration and the city's tourism industry, the City Council recently passed a host of new regulations for the taxi industry.
A federal judge issued an injunction blocking the city from enforcing ordinances declaring cab owners' permits, known as certificates of public necessity and convenience, or CPNCs, to be privileges and not rights, and making their transfer discretionary.
Much the same as if the Law Commission declared the fact that London Taxi drivers exemption from the congestion charge as a privilege and not a right!
However, U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon allowed the city to implement new regulations setting maximum ages for vehicles used as cabs and requiring installation of
- Credit card machines
- GPS devices
- Security cameras.
The city will be enforcing these rules as cabs come in for their regular semiannual inspections. Many owners say they cannot afford the extra costs, especially the $20-30,000 they say they must spend to get a vehicle young enough to meet the city's new rules.
More than half the cabs in the city are already too old to meet the new age guidelines, which states that vehicles used as cabs, mustn't be older than 11 years. But starting in 2014, the maximum age will be reduced to seven years. In addition, starting in January, cabs can be no more than five years old when first put into service.
Notice the way an age limit once implemented is then reduced. Many fear that Boris's 15 year age limit is set to be reduced in the near future to 10 years, as three major London council leaders, have written to the mayor demanding a reduction.
Striking Taxis at Louis Armstrong International airport