Taxi drivers demand a fair hearing for a fare increase

Chicago cabdrivers, angry that they have been denied a public hearing for a fare increase, picketed City Hall to deliver a list of demands to Mayor Rahm Emmanuel Wednesday March 7, 2012. They were supported by Occupy Chicago.

“The city has rejected our petition for a hearing and eliminated our right to petition,” said Fayez Khozindar, chairman of the United Taxidrivers Community Council (UTCC). “We demand a hearing.”

City Commissioner Rosemary Krimbel had rejected the cabdrivers’ petition, claiming there were 430 faulty signatures. “That’s impossible,” said Ted Budzynski, who gathered 1500 signatures on his petition. “They were all working cabdrivers.”

A delegation led by Khozindar delivered their demands to Mayor Rham Emmanuel in his 5th floor office at City hall. The UTCC demands included an immediate hearing on a fare increase, reinstatement of the right to petition, enforcement of current lease caps, and changes to the new cab ordinance. “They did not give the drivers a seat at the table,” Khizindar said. “The last fare increase was in 2006 and since then gas prices have skyrocketed. We have petitioned five times for a fare increase and have been denied,” added Khozindar.

"Action must be taken now because cabdrivers are facing rising lease rates with no compensation." —Finn Ebelechukwu, chairman of the strike committee.

 

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