Protesting cab drivers tie up traffic on Poydras - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Protesting cab drivers tie up traffic on Poydras

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Taxis line Poydras St. during protest over city reforms-WVUE FOX 8 Photo Taxis line Poydras St. during protest over city reforms-WVUE FOX 8 Photo

New Orleans, La.- Cab drivers who normally would snarl at a traffic jam in the Central Business District instead actually created that traffic snarl around midday Thursday.

The cabbies staged another protest near the Superdome to express their ongoing frustration with the city's taxi cab reform requirements.

The drivers say they understand the need for modernizing the fleet and agree with required upgrades like surveillance cameras and credit card capabilities.

But, they argue they have not been given sufficient time to make the changes and adjust to the costs of the improvements.

At the same time, they say they want their CPNC licenses to remain private property. The cabbies argue that they can borrow against those licenses to raise money for the improvements, but not if the city has the right to revoke them.

Attorney Jack Culotta is representing the drivers. He calls on the city to open discussions,"We're 100 days from the Super Bowl and the mayor says he wants good cabs. But we may not have any cabs. And that's why we're here. We want to the mayor to know that we want to sit down with him. If we can get our property rights, that would give us the ability to start doing this. We need some time to be in compliance."

At a news conference about the preparations for the Super Bowl, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said tourists and locals expect clean cabs.

Landrieu said he was sorry some drivers oppose the reforms, but made no mention of meeting with them.

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