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Taxi Cab Commission Approves Hail-A-Taxi Initiative

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Good news for pedestrians and cab drivers. The Hail-a-Taxi initiative was unanimously approved by the Taxi Cab Commission. An email forwarded to us notes that "the Board’s report will be going to the Transportation Committee of the City Council and subsequently to the full City Council. The anticipated implementation date is July 1, 2008!" As previously noted, because of an inane (state?) law, taxis are fined for stopping and picking up patrons in red "no parking lanes," making it difficult for anyone to hail a cab. Last September , a group of downtown business owners and residents proposed this Hail-A-Taxi Initiative (their original letter to the Mayor is after the jump). From our understanding, this initiative would allow taxis to legally stop and pick up passengers. More to come...UPDATE: A representative from Councilwoman Jan Perry's office has more: "The [July] date is a target date only. The Taxicab Commission voted unanimously to move the report forward that recommends, with specific parameters, using Downtown as a pilot program for a six month period. The taxi industry, both cab drivers and cab companies, support this as does the business community." UPDATE: OK, the vote happened yesterday, according to Perry's office. UPDATE: What'll happen next: It needs to be scheduled for the Council's Transportation Committee where it will be discussed and then forwarded to the full city council and voted on. But if all goes well, the program should begin in July. UPDATE: No, the vote happened today, notes Perry's office. Typo.

Honorable Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Office of the Mayor
200 N. Spring Street, 3rd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Re: “Hail-A-Taxi (H.A.T.)”, a Citizen Sponsored Initiative

Dear Honorable Mayor Villaraigosa,

In consideration of our shared goals for creating a vibrant 24-hour downtown, we, as the stakeholders and business voices of Downtown Los Angeles, would like to respectfully request that you consider allowing taxi cabs to temporarily stop at red curbed no parking lanes, just as many major metropolitan cities allow.

We acknowledge that as the city continues to move forward with your vision of “elegant density”, the overpopulation of individual automobiles is continuing to hamper the convenience in mobility, which lowers the city’s quality of life standards.

We believe a sound quality of life goal for a major metropolitan city is to accommodate its citizens with a variety of options for the conveniences in mobility.

In an attempt to mitigate the overpopulation of individual automobiles, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) manages several public transportation options including bus services that allow MTA buses to temporarily stop in no parking lanes.

We believe the same flexibility should be shared with private mobility services, such as taxis, to allow for temporarily stopping in no parking lanes.

Almost all major cities in the world allow for taxi cabs to share this privilege. We trust that you will make the same consideration for Los Angeles.

We appreciate your time and consideration.

Signed, Dated

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· Hailing a Taxi in LA: Let's Make It Legal, Says Downtown Group [Curbed LA]