The Cabbies Strike Back

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New York cabbies are [getting ready to strike back at the city] for trying to mandate the installation of pricy new GPS systems that would track their every move. While the threats have [been coming for weeks](, yesterday, Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, announced that a 48-hour strike is scheduled to begin at 5 a.m. on September 5th if the plan isn’t dropped. Ugh. The New York Taxi Workers Alliance represents 10,000 of the city’s 44,000 cab drivers, and other drivers are expected to join in.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission has required that all cabs be equipped with the systems no later than the end of January 2008. In addition to complaints that the systems are both pricy (about $7,000) and an invasion of drivers’ privacy, Desai said that [they malfunction frequently], wasting time and money. The TLC, meanwhile, says that [drivers already have to turn in route data]( and that the new system will make it easier for passengers to claim lost items and encourage business by allowing people to pay using credit cards. “Riders, who have paid an additional $1 billion directly to drivers’ pockets [thanks to recent fare hikes], were promised technology enhancements in return — and they deserve to have that promise kept,” TLC Commissioner Matthew Daus said in a statement. Let the showdown begin.

Photo courtesy of [el copilot on Flickr]

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