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Imagine if all cabs in Boston were the same color

City councilors today quickly warmed to a proposal to require Boston cabs to be painted a common color, like in New York, as a way to help confused people figure out which cars are legally licensed - and their drivers subjected to background checks - and which are unregulated gypsy cabs.

Mark Cohen, the director of licensing for the police hackney division, told councilors at a hearing today he already has a plan ready to go. Cohen said students at Suffolk University drafted a single-color plan - they started with a focus group of rape counselors, since finding a cab quickly can be an issue for rape victims.

The color they came up with? Green. Like the Celtics.

One cab driver said the city enacted a partial color scheme several years ago - all Boston cabs must have white on them - and said he would be concerned about expenses if the city suddenly required all cabs to be repainted, and about competition from cabbies in surrounding towns who would match the paint scheme to try to pick up illegal fares in Boston.

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One cab driver said the city enacted a partial color scheme several years ago - all Boston cabs must have white on them - and said he would be concerned about expenses if the city suddenly required all cabs to be repainted, and about competition from cabbies in surrounding towns who would match the paint scheme to try to pick up illegal fares in Boston.

Dear driver, nobody cares. This town's cab system is a lifetime behind just about every other major city in the country. "Have while on them" is not a color scheme. Making all cabs look the same is a color scheme. As for that competition from surrounding towns, that wouldn't be an issue if the cab system went regional. How will that happen? Easy. Boston and its neighboring cities form a TLC and mandate that hacks join. If they don't, they can neither pick up NOR drop off in neighboring towns. Done.

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Having a universal style for Boston cabs would (it would seem) make it more difficult for neighboring towns' cabs to pick up fares illegally in the hub... not easier. Currently cabs in Boston fit in well with cabs in Cambridge, Revere, Chelsea, Somerville etc - and vice versa... making it more easy to pick up illegally in neighboring towns. So I don't understand that cabbie's opinion here.

Boston and its neighboring cities form a TLC and mandate that hacks join. If they don't, they can neither pick up NOR drop off in neighboring towns. Done.

May be a good idea, but to not allow cabs to "drop off" in other towns makes not much sense. This is not currently a rule nor should it be.

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If you're a cabbie who doesn't join a regional taxi and limousine commission, there's no way you should be allowed to pick up or drop off beyond the limits of your own city or town. If you do, you should be treated as a gypsy cab and fined to the fullest extent of the law.

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So let's say a driver has a valid Boston medallion, but chooses not to join a regional TLC. And let's say you hail that cab in downtown Boston and say, "I want to go to Cambridge."

Now what? The driver cannot legally refuse the fare, and, under your proposed rule, the driver cannot legally drop you off in Cambridge either.

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I think the key is the mandatory nature. If you have a medallion in any of the participating cities or towns you are automatically part of the now regional authority. No choice.

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The metro area is large and having different jurisdictions and rules just makes thing much worse for customers.

While we're at it the medallion system needs a major overhaul. It's the biggest contributing factor to not being able to get a damn cab in this city after before 9am and after 7pm, and why 80% of cab drivers don't know how to get you fro A to B (assuming they pick you up anyways)

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A regional cab authority is a great idea. It is ridiculous that cabs from Boston who go to Cambridge can't pick up a fare on the way back and vice versa. This is not like NYC where it's one big city. Boston consists of all the satellite cities and towns as well that are NOT really suburbs due to their density, proximity, and in the case of Brookline surroundedness by the city.

However... whatever authority there is must NOT consist of cab drivers themselves as voting members or having any sort of authority. If we do have that we will have even worse rates than already (cabs cost up to 2x as much here as in NYC) and you can say bye to card readers.

Any cab driver who bitches about card readers can kiss my ass. The rate was raised to account for the fees, a rate ALREADY far above NYC which is supposed to be a more expensive city than Boston.
And the only reason they really want cash is to not report the income, one would be naive to not think that. And frankly cash is a thing of the past, an anachronism.

And really I can't think of the last time I rode a cab where the driver wasn't on the phone to Nigeria or somewhere. I don't care if their Borg-like ear piece makes it legal since its a hands off phone. Hang the fuck up when I am in your cab, it's rude to be talking on the phone when I am trying to tell you which way to drive so you don't screw me out of even more money than your exorbitant rates already are.

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A regional cab authority is something I proposed to the city council in a letter I sent them back in February, as seen here:

http://www.universalhub.com/2011/livechatting-abou...

I agree with painting the cabs one color to make them more visible, and also agree that the driver was a little off base with the comment that neighboring cities would copy the scheme. As we all know the cabs in NYC are all yellow; however, yellow cabs also enter NYC from Newark, NJ and other neighboring cities/towns (I've seen it), and there is no problem with them picking up or stealing fares. I agree with the anonymous comment that having one distinct color for cabs would make it harder, not easier, to steal fares. Overall, enacting a regional cab authority would give us all more cabs, the cab drivers more area to pick fares up, and possibly solve the medallion monopoly. (As you'll see in my letter, I am infrequent user of cabs, but still feel strongly about this issue).

After writing my letter to the city, I actually received a call from the captain of BPD's Hackney Unit, who was very polite and thanked me for the letter. He also told me I was preaching to the choir, and that although the Hackney Unit had considered what I had written, that some has taken a while to enact, and some (like the regional cab authority) would prove difficult to enact.

I STILL don't see, though, why cabs have not been made to comply with the regulation that they have an availability light. As I said in my letter, and Stevil said in yesterday's post about the hearing, it is such a simple system, and so many other cities already have it. Why can't we?

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WTF is a TLC?

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Just like they have in Bloombergville.

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Bright neon orange! But I'll settle from neon green, too. Perhaps even stoop to neon pink.

There'd be no question as to what's a cab.

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Uh oh... Better get MAACO! Beep beep!

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All cabs in Boston are white and clearly labeled. What's the problem?

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