There’s Something Rotten in San Diego — Cabs

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by Michael Reagan,

from Reagan Reports,

Back in June Sacramento struck a blow for the consumer when it required cab drivers to be able to speak English. It’s one thing to have an obnoxious cab driver refuse to speak English and ignore your directions in Paris, but quite another to have it happen in the capital of California.

You had the usual protest from the cabbies’ union claiming up to 500 drivers would be fired, as if the customer would care. A driver with impaired vision would not be allowed to drive so why should a driver with impaired communication get a pass?

Now at the San Diego Airport, English doesn’t appear to be a problem, for them it’s emissions.

ABC News reports, “Body odor is among 52 criteria that officials at San Diego International Airport use to judge taxi drivers.” And naturally the union is upset. The story says, “Leaders of the United Taxi Workers of San Diego union say the litmus perpetuates a stereotype that predominantly foreign-born taxi drivers smell bad.”

Drivers who were interviewed claimed any stench in the cab is just as likely to be coming from the vicinity of the back seat as from the driver, where “gasoline, vomit, or mildew” is often found. (This begs the question of why doesn’t the driver clean up his cab!)

But speaking as a customer I don’t want to smell either.

Airport authority spokeswoman Rebecca Bloomfield was quoted as explaining, “Taxi drivers are often the first impression that travelers receive when arriving into San Diego, and we want to encourage a positive experience.”

I think it’s a great idea, and I hope the concept spreads to other areas of government authority. Given what’s happened in California recently, I’m all for requiring our elected officials to pass a regular “sniff test,” too.

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