Councillor Darren Cyr has hit the proverbial nail on the head when it comes to this city’s cab drivers and the automobiles they drive.
The new ordinance he is working to pass would revolutionize the local taxicab business – and probably come close to putting it out of business as well.
First off, Cyr is right about taxi cab drivers in this city who can’t speak English.
Taxi cab drivers in this city doing their thing night and day need to speak English. They also need to dress properly and present themselves in a much better state than most taxi drivers tend to do right now.
Many drivers need to be educated about dealing with the public beyond just getting behind the wheel of a car and picking up fares.
In addition, it goes without saying that taxi cab drivers should not be working if they are high or drunk or on medication.
Cyr is heading up this taxi cab ordinance effort out of sheer frustration that Lynn’s taxi drivers for the most part can’t read or write in the English language and are made to drive automobiles that should be driven straight into a junk yard in Everett or Chelsea.
Part of the new ordinance as well is to check out taxi cab drivers’ driving records and to restrict cab companies from hiring cabbies with poor driving records.
If the ordinance is enacted, it will not allow cab drivers to wear ripped or torn clothing, T-shirts, underwear, tank tops, body shirts, swim wear and jogging suits.
Cyr is trying to deal with cab drivers in this city who appear as though they’ve been rolling around in a dirt pile or who seem to be only half with it and who cannot read or write in the English language and who have little to no idea where they are being asked to go.
The ordinance in its entirety will likely call for automobiles used as cabs to have a certain shelf life and that cabs cannot be driven that are banged up or with worn tires, ripped seats, and worn to the bone.
It is likely the city will implement a system requiring cab owners to provide newer cars and for the cars to be energy efficient as well.
That is the rub.
The cab business is arguably one of the toughest of its kind to be in. With higher energy costs and the cost for repairs through the roof and with many drivers who aren’t all there, so to speak, cab companies are hard pressed to maintain a decent profit margin.
Local taxicab companies are awaiting this new ordinance to see just how badly they will be affected by requirements that will be costly.
That being said, better drivers, newer and more fuel efficient automobiles that are more comfortable and tidy with drivers who can speak English and who are properly checked out by the police as to their driving records is the right direction to head in.
In fact, it is the only direction to head in.
Taxicabs and their drivers are this city’s personal ambassadors, believe it or not.
Their job is not easy and they get no respect doing things the way they are done right now.
Perhaps all of this is about to change…for the better.