Cabbie Outrage: Cab drivers need to “clean up their act” officials say

Posted at 1:47 PM, Mar 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-20 13:53:52-04

Officials in California say they want cab drivers to "clean up their act".

They are proposing new regulations for cabbies - including making sure the drivers have proper hygiene, and can speak English.

Sacramento cabbie Ahmid Mahmoud is fired-up.

"We don't have rent to pay? We don't have bills to pay?"

So he's lining up his fellow drivers to take on City Hall.

"Do those guys have common sense?"

The city is considering putting stricter rules in place for Sacramento taxi drivers. Making sure vehicles are no older than eight years, putting a new dress code in place, collared shirt and slacks, making it mandatory for all taxis to accept credit cards, and another requirement Mahmoud calls unnecessary...

"That's very insulting for me and for all the drivers."

A new policy requiring drivers to be hygienically clean. One passenger gave us his take:

"Yeah basic hygiene, I would agree with that."

Facing growing competition from web-based rides "Uber" and the ride-sharing service "Lyft" some Sacramento taxi drivers say the proposed cabbie crackdown could put the brakes on their business. The city calls it good business.

"So I want them to be the ambassadors and be the representatives for our city."

The proposal also calls for drivers to take a cabbie quiz: testing their command of the English language. Here's one sample question: smoking is prohibited in cars. Which word closely relates to the underlined word? Hoping they're able to pick number three. Some are hoping the changes go through.

"I don't think that's asking too much."

Ahmid might beg to differ.

"You don't tell them after 25 years or ten years you need to take a test."

The quiz would also ask cabbies if they know how much change to give a customer when handed a certain bill.

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