The Taxi Link Wraps Up, Struggle Continues

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WUST studio. Photo by Julie Espinosa – look for her upcoming documentary on D.C.’s credit card mandate

Listen to The Taxi Link’s Season 2 finale

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“Even though there have been different issues every week, there were still some fundamental consistencies,” The Taxi Link co-host Tony Norman said on the show’s retrospective season finale. “These are drivers that are not being fairly treated… Some of it could be racial, but clearly there’s a cultural, class bias,” he said.  Continue reading

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Uber and Allies Up in Arms, Again

The Taxi Link airs Sat. 7-8 pm on WUST 1120 AM. Listen here: 

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The D.C. Taxicab Commission recently voted to exclude smaller cars from the sedan-class of public vehicles for hire. The move prevents Uber, the largely unregulated luxury sedan service and phone app, from using smaller cars to compete more directly with taxis, which are highly regulated. The commission’s decision has Uber and its allies, including several D.C. councilmembers, up in arms.

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Should Cabbies Choose Their Company?

Photo courtesy of alextimes.com

Photo courtesy of alextimes.com

The Taxi Link airs on WUST 1120 AM. Listen: 

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Should cab drivers be able to freely choose the company they work for? That’s the question a task force created by the Alexandria city council is grappling with.

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As Smart Meters Go In, VeriFone Is Out as PSP

Picture courtesy of VeriFone

Picture courtesy of VeriFone

The Taxi Link airs on WUST 1120 AM. Listen: 

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One of the largest Payment Service Providers has backed out as a PSP, as the deadline for installation of credit card readers in all District cabs fast approaches.

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Taxi Registrations Open Suddenly, Then Close

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Would-be cabbies outside the Commission Friday evening

The Taxi Link airs on WUST 1120 AM. Listen: 

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Just as suddenly as it was announced, registration for taxi licenses was halted. “Because so many people chose to come here tonight and create chaos to some degree, we are going to close registration,” Sharon McInnis, an official with the D.C. Taxicab Commission, said over a police cruiser’s public-address system.

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Taxis Hit with Costly Mandates As Unregulated Competitors Move In

Aleme Tadesse and Addis Aemero. Photo courtesy of WAMU

Aleme Tadesse and Addis Aemero. Photo by WAMU

The Taxi Link airs on WUST 1120 AM. Listen: 

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With a commission-mandated deadline looming, and a great deal of confusion ensuing, D.C. cab drivers must rush to sign major contracts, some for as long as five years.

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Scrappy Cabbies Take On Multinationals

Cabbie leader Fisseha Tesfaye and Mateos Chekol of the AFL-CIO in the WUST studio

Cabbie leader Fisseha Tesfaye (left) and Mateos Chekol of the AFL-CIO in the WUST studio

The Taxi Link airs on WUST 1120 AM. Listen: 

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A scrappy group of Prince George’s cabbies is determined not to go quietly into the night. Instead of being pushed out by several multibillion-dollar corporations, they’ve stood their ground, fought back, and now may be on the verge of victory.

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Hailu Mergia: Famed Musician and Cab Driver

Hailu Mergia. Photo courtesy of Washington Post

Hailu Mergia playing the piano at home. Photo courtesy of Washington Post

Listen to Hailu Mergia here:

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After reaching the height of success in Ethiopia, The Walias Band came to the U.S., landing at Dulles International Airport in 1981. After spending two years playing for the Ethiopian diaspora throughout the U.S., often reaching them by piling the band into a van, the group of eight disbanded.

To this day, the band’s star returns to Dulles almost daily, as a cab driver. “When you come [to the U.S.], whatever you have [to do], you have to do it. I believe in that,” Hailu Mergia told TheFightBack during a conversation at his Fort Washington home.  Continue reading

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DC Water Prefers Green Infrastructure, Despite Uncertainties

Unknown-1By Thomas Hedges – Find his reports at Truthdig

George Hawkins faced a tough question when he became General Manager of the DC Water and Sewer Authority in 2009. Should DC Water stick to the 2005 federal consent decree, which requires it start building three new tunnels in 2015 to deal with combined sewer and storm water overflow as part of its Long-Term Control Plan (LTCP), or should it reopen discussions with the EPA in an effort to give green infrastructure, which is not as reliable as are tunnels, a bigger role in the project? 

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Cabbies Must Sign Major Contracts in Coming Days

The Taxi Link airs Sat. 7-8 pm on WUST 1120 AM. Listen here: 

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Taxi-StandIn the coming days, an unknown number of D.C. cabbies will sign major contracts with Payment Service Providers (PSPs), as required by the taxi commission.

While PSPs have attorneys, most cabbies don’t and they may end up on the short end of these contracts, but that doesn’t appear to be a major concern of the commission’s. “I haven’t seen any of the contracts,” D.C. taxi chair Ron Linton told TheFightBack. “We’re letting them decide. They’re going to have to deal with those issues.”  Continue reading

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