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Hail-A-Cab Coming to Downtown and Hollywood?

taxi.jpg
Once the Council Approves, Visitors to Hollywood Could Hail Taxis

Yesterday the City Council’s Transportation Committee moved a proposal from the Board of Taxi Commissioners that would allow taxi’s to cruise for passengers in LA’s Downtown and Hollywood.  The proposal, called the Hail-a-Taxi Pilot Program, needs to be approved by the entire Council before becoming law and could proceed a city-wide program.  The Pilot Program would run for six months, and could begin as soon as July 1.

The pilot program was suggested by the appointed Board of Taxi Commissioners.  The Board decided on Hollywood and the Downtown because these areas are seeing high growth in the number of pedestrian trips and insufficient transit growth to get potential pedestrians to and from these areas without a car trip.

For the program to be considered a success, the Board and Council both noted that there needs to be cooperation between the taxi’s, Metro and LADOT as well as a public relations program to let people know that they can hail a cab in the Downtown and Hollywood.

The LADOT needs to be aware where taxi’s can and cannot stop to pick up passengers.  For example, a cab can only pick up a passenger in a bus lane if it is not impeding buses from getting into or out of the lane.  While double parking restrictions will be loosened for the purposes of picking up or dropping off passengers, the LAPD should closely watch to make sure this privilege is not being abused.  An increase in double parking citations is one measure that the Board and Council will use to determine whether or not the program was successful.

Metro is concerned that too many taxi’s using bus lanes will cause problems for their drivers and could cause safety concerns for both bus riders and taxi riders.  Before the proposal moves to the full Council for a vote, Councilwoman Greuel is requiring that LADOT staff work on these concerns with Metro and LAPD officials.

Officials hope that the program’s success marks the beginning of a change for Los Angeles into a “Taxi Town.”

Photo: Thomas Hawk/Flickr 

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