Independent taxi drivers in the city of Dallas, TX, have protested a policy change that allows 87 natural gas-fueled cabs to move to the front of the pick-up line at the city's Love Field Airport. The City of Dallas instituted the policy in an attempt to improve air quality, but hundreds of cabs, which run on gasoline, have been bumped to the back of the pack.
Two weeks ago, 200 taxis drivers, all of which drive gasoline-fueled cabs, gathered in front of Dallas City Hall to protest the city's policy change. NPR reports that the protesters chanted:
Owners of gas-fed cabs argue that the CNG taxis have essentially stolen their business. Kevin Cantrell, a taxi driver who owns a gasoline-fueled minivan, stated:We are going to continue to protest until these policies are changed. We will no longer be ignored. We will no longer be ignored.
Cantrell, along with other independent taxi drivers, point out that natural gas conversions can runs as high as $15,000 – an amount that most cab drivers can't afford. However, Dallas' taxi companies – such as Cowboy Cab and Yellow Cab – have no problem forking over the extra cash for conversions. The city insists that the move is aimed at improving air quality, but independent taxi drivers believe the policy was put in place to knock them out of business.They're [CNG taxis] pushing all these drivers out of Love Field and into the stands and out into the streets. It's cutting my pay in half or less.