NYC Cabbies Begin Strike

Level of participation unclear; new technology at issue in labor dispute
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2007 1:40 PM CDT
Taxi dispatch worker Maria Padmore, left, tries to help passengers at LaGuardia Airport as Trisha Ashbrook, right, waits for a cab Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2007 in the Queens borough of New York. A group...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A 2-day strike by New York taxi drivers protesting an order to install new technology began today, with the union claiming up to 95% participation by the city's estimated 20,000 cabbies, to the mayor's prestrike estimate of 30%. The city instituted an emergency fare structure to encourage cab sharing and beefed up mass transit to and from LaGuardia and JFK.

"We are not seeing major disruptions," a city official told the Times. New York has mandated credit-card readers and GPS systems in yellow cabs by the end of January; cabbies say the systems are intrusive and too expensive, Bloomberg reports. Fare increases were authorized in 2004 to pay for the new hardware, Mike Bloomberg said yesterday.