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Hailing A Downtown Taxi Just For The Hell Of It

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Huge day for Los Angeles. It’s never technically been illegal to hail a taxi from the street, but as of today, cabbies are no longer fined for pulling over in red zones and other “illegal” areas. Which means that Los Angeles is now like New York, where pedestrians can flag down cabs wherever they want. It’s overwhelming, we know! Since the new six-month pilot program, which is taking place in Downtown and parts of Hollywood, kicked off today, an early morning test run seemed in order.

--Our cab driver, who asked to remain anonymous, said he’s received about $490 worth of tickets in the last year from pulling over at illegal spots.

--How many people have you picked up off the street in downtown in the last month? “About 20.”

--Really tough spots: The California Mart (see in first few photos). It’s nearly all red curb, but people line up to get cabs. Invariably, he gets fined.

--Also a killer: The Heart Association at 816 Figueroa. People wait outside for cabs, but the curb is all red. Again, more tickets.

--He never actually gets handed an actual ticket. Police write down his license plate and the tickets arrive in the mail.

--When did you hear the program was taking place? “About two weeks ago, they sent the news out over the computers.”

--So you are happy about the program? “Yes! Very happy”
· Taxi Cab Group Approves Hail-A-Taxi Initiative
· Hailing a Taxi in LA: Let's Make It Legal, Says Downtown Group [Curbed LA]