City Hall

Leppert Talks Taxis on National Public Radio

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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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky