New Orleans cabbies worry about reform deadline - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

New Orleans cabbies worry about reform deadline

New Orleans, La. -

In a little over a month, all taxicabs in the City of New Orleans must comply with a set of new reforms passed by the City Council.  Some cab drivers fear they won't make the deadline.

Super Bowl 2013 will make for a huge weekend in New Orleans.  It's also a very important benchmark for all taxicabs in the city. They must have new technology, required by the city, installed by January 1, or else.

"I just don't see it happening," says Frank Davis, an attorney representing United Cab.

Davis says, only 50 percent of United's fleet has installed the new GPS devices, credit card machines and security cameras at this point.  Davis says the vendors selected by the city to sell the equipment had trouble getting supplies here, and there are issues with installation.

"What I'm hearing now is that the training was insufficient, that the vendors told the installers it may take an hour or two hours to get the entire package in. There's four pieces of equipment and its now taking eight or more," Davis explained.

Cab drivers tell FOX 8 they're frustrated with the situation.  Oliver Know said, "I paid $1900 for the equipment but the car is not ready yet."

The drivers say, if they can't pass inspection, they fear they could be out of a job. 

Know said, "That's not good at all. How are you going to take care of your family?  Your kid, yourself?  How are you going to do that?  How are you going to take care of your bill?"

The city and Taxicab Bureau are aware of the delay. "The president of United Cab and the manager of United Cab sat down with Mr. Malachi Hull and expressed these issues," Davis told us.

According to a city spokesperson, the deadline is non-negotiable.  Davis, however, feels there may be a little leeway saying, "They're going to continue to apply pressure to make sure everyone does it but because of the installation issues, they're not going to tell somebody he's going to have to sit down."

Not all cab drivers are so sure, saying they seriously fear they could be temporarily out of work if they can't get the equipment installed in time.

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