Miami-Dade Taxi Drivers Protest for Change

Drivers said they want government officials to address their working conditions and wages.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A group of taxicab drivers in Miami-Dade protested for what they say is a "broken system." The drivers chanted and held signs in front of the government center in hopes of getting city officials to address their needs. NBC 6's Betty Yu reports. (Published Monday, Sep 23, 2013)

    Miami-Dade taxicab drivers protested in front of the County Government Office Monday for a "taxi drivers reform."

    Drivers said they want government officials to address their working conditions and wages.

    "The current system is broken," said a Miami-Dade taxi driver, Miguel Lantigua. "It needs to be fixed."

    Dozens were also present to protest against ordinances proposed by Commissioner Juan C. Zapata and Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, and they say the ordinances will give more power to taxi company owners and leave drivers at a disadvantage.

    Gimenez acknowledged the importance of taxis in Miami-Dade, but said Miami is lacking when compared to cities like New York in the "levels of service, personal courtesy and technology."

    "Our aim is simple: to bring our local taxi industry into the 21st Century, and more importantly, to make sure that the seven million visitors and locals who use our cabs each year consistently get the level of service that they deserve,” Gimenez said in a statement.

    The ordinances are part of an Ambassador Cabs program that would only allow certain taxi drivers to pick up passengers at Miami International Airport and PortMiami. Another ordinance would require the cabbies to have credit card machines in their cars.

    "The working condition that we have here in Miami-Dade is basically working as a slave,” said a taxi driver present at the protest. “We don’t make more than $4 per hour."

    The protest was organized by the New Vision Taxi Drivers Association of Miami.

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