Leppert Talks Taxis on National Public Radio

LoveField_cabbietowing.jpg
Patrick Michels
One abandoned cab getting a tow from Love Field Monday evening
Way back back on Monday, Patrick was at Love Field watching Dallas Police arrest cabbies who'd abandoned their rides in front of the airport, while I spoke with Mayor Tom about how the escalating protest -- which, earlier in the day, involved a dangerously slow roll down Central Expressway and LBJ Freeway -- was "a slap in the face to the community." And maybe you've seen: Since then, the cabbies -- who insist the city's policy of allowing compressed natural gas-powered cabs to hop to the head of the line at Love -- have been back at City Hall several times, wandering the lobby when not insisting the policy's nothing short of racist.

At long last, the long-simmering fight, which has involved litigation and court orders and New Year's Eve boycotts and on and on, makes national news -- at least, National Public Radio's All Things Considered. You can listen to the audio on your drive home this evening (it won't be posted till 6, for those of you who didn't drive to work this morning), or read the story here. An excerpt:
The independent drivers say this new policy is not about air quality at all. They say this is really about driving independent black cab owners out of business, so white businessmen can step into a nice, new CNG cab when they get off their plane.

Leppert says cab quality is a consideration for the city but says it's not the purpose of the policy.

"If you get in reasonably nicely dressed, you don't want to get in that cab," said Leppert. "[The regular gas cabs are] not clean, old, used, all of those sorts of things."
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6 comments
OPEC is the problem
OPEC is the problem

Only in Dallas Texas can a simple incentive for clean domestic fuels be spun into an issue of race. Its not the responsibility of the airport or the city to provide these people with a job.

Phelps
Phelps

It's not about race or clean fuels. It's about creating a barrier to entry that the big cab companies can afford to absorb and the independent operators can't. (It's the same reason Walmart supports new restrictions on grocery stores and the HCRA.)

claytonauger
claytonauger

Except gas isn't exactly a clean fuel in the Barnett Shale is it? 130 tons per day of air pollution, and billions of gallons of water contaminated.

Sonja McGill
Sonja McGill

I guess that means he's not getting into New York, D.C. or Chicago cabs anytime soon?

Phelps
Phelps

You're usually better off calling a town car to get you at the airport in NYC anyway. The price is about the same.

claytonauger
claytonauger

One is tempted to write off the cabbies comments as paranoid....until you read what Leppert actually said. Can't wait for the quotes coming out of a high-pressure Senate campaign.

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