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NYC Taxi Drivers Protest GPS System Requirements

March 14, 2007

More than 100 taxi drivers protested outside the Taxi & Limousine Commission’s headquarters March 6, threatening to strike over the TLC’s new mandate requiring all cabs to install GPS tracking technology systems into their vehicles, reports The New York Sun. The TLC states that the technology will only be used for reuniting passengers with lost articles, but the drivers fear that it will allow the TLC to play “Big Brother” and infringe upon their labor and privacy rights. Many drivers also worry that the GPS technology will be used to prosecute them for traffic violations. Executive director of the Taxi Workers Alliance, Bhairavi Desai, has stated that the group’s 7,000 city taxi drivers are very angry over the rule and have had serious discussions about striking. The Taxi & Limousine Commission passed this legislation in 2004, requiring all cabs to be fitted with GPS tracking technology and also credit and debit card payment systems and backseat passenger screens as well.Medallion owners will have to purchase the equipment, which is estimated to cost between $2,800 and $5,400 a car, and drivers say that the cost will inevitably be passed down to the consumer, according to The New York Sun.New York City taxi drivers have not gone on strike since 1998, in which a one-day strike was held in response to Mayor Giuliani’s decision to increase fines for breaking traffic laws.
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