Oak Park board approves taxi cab rule changes

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

After months of delay, the Village of Oak Park finally passed new rules Monday, regulating taxi cabs.

New laws on the books include forbidding cabbies from talking on their cell phones, requiring that drivers accept credit cards and prohibiting smoking in cabs.

One point of contention for village trustees was the idea that a taxi driver could, in some circumstances, require a passenger to "prepay" for a trip. Some members of the village board worried that cabbies might use the new provision to discriminate against certain customers.

"I think that is a very concerning possibility in a community like Oak Park," said Village President David Pope.

In the end, the village settled on allowing drivers to require prepayment only when the customer is unfamiliar to the cabbie, and the person does not exit from the location that the driver was dispatched to. Oak Park is also requiring taxi drivers to keep a log of when they ask for prepayment, to help monitor against misuse.

A previous version of the ordinance had a dress code for cabbies, forbidding them from wearing underwear over their clothes, tank tops, swimwear, jogging suits, body shirts, cut-offs, trunks or similar attire, and sandals without socks. But the dress code portion was nixed last year.

This article has been updated to correct a misstatement about one of the dress code provisions.

Reader Comments

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Tess from Oak Park  

Posted: January 6th, 2011 7:27 PM

Actually, the original proposed dress code required wearing of underwear... and there were a couple reasons for prepayment. It's on the Village website (agenda for January 3.)

paul  

Posted: January 6th, 2011 11:15 AM

Sounds like some good rules they passed. I hate when I get into a taxi and it smells like an ashtray. I'm glad the dress code nonsense didn't get passed though. (Why wouldn't you want a cabbie to wear underwear??)

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