LA Taxi Riders Bill of Rights

September 26, 2006 at 11:27 am in Driving, Mass Transit reading eecue’s earlier post, “Yellow Bellied Cabbie” below, I was about to once again call for Los Angeles to have a Taxi Riders Bill of Rights similar to the one in New York… alas, I discovered, we already have one.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s Taxi Services website provides a concise overview of just that – how and where taxis can operate in Los Angeles. A map of which cab companies are authorized to work in different neighborhoods, a listing of phone numbers to reach them, an outline of how fares are structured, and, my favorite, the Taxi Rider’s Bill of Rights.

Did you know that as a rider of a taxi in Los Angeles you’re entitled to the following?

A taxi driver that speaks and understands English.

A taxi driver that is knowledgeable of major destinations and is able to take you to your destination in the quickest time and by the shortest route.

A ride in a taxicab that is in safe working order and with operating heating and air conditioning.

A taxi driver who practices good hygiene, does not smoke in his cab and is polite and respectful of his customers.

The site also points out that this is a two way street – passengers need to respect the drivers by observing the following:

Behave in a civil manner.

Refrain from smoking, drinking or eating food inside a taxicab.

Board the cab only from the curb or right side of the cab, or the wheelchair accessible ramp.

Do not distract or otherwise prevent the taxi driver from focusing on driving the cab.

Yes, I must refrain from the last one, as I always find the need to strike up conversation with cab drivers.

But one rule of note is that taxi drivers can ask for your estimated fare up front before arriving at your destination.

A complete listing at the site.

But a couple questions that the site doesn’t answer, that maybe a reader can:

1. Where can I read more about the policy restricting Santa Monica and other city’s taxis from operating outside of of their area? (I know Santa Monica cabs can drop off in other parts of L.A. County, but they can only pick up in Santa Monica)

2. Is there any difference between a taxi and a cab?

(photo by minmax on Flickr)

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