2007_03_taxistrike.jpgThe city's desire to keep closer tabs on taxi drivers may prompt the drivers to strike. The city wants to install a GPS-tracking video monitor in cabs, which the city claims will help passengers retrieve lost items (even if they don't have receipts or medallion numbers) because the Taxi and Limousine Commission will be able to find the taxi that dropped them off at a certain location.

While that sounds good to taxi riders, drivers think the GPS systems will be used to nail them for traffic violations. Plus many drivers complain that they'll end up paying for systems that cost between $2,800 and $5,400.

The last time taxi drivers went on strike was on May 13, 1998, to protest new rules and higher fine under Mayor Giuliani. Taxi drivers in Philadelphia went on strike over GPS systems for one day, but have to deal with them anyway. The Taxi Workers Alliance's Bhairavi Desai tells Metro, "[A strike] is a serious possibility. We haven’t decided yet exactly how many days and when. We’ll know when there’s no other door to knock on. I heard a lot of drivers say this time it’s got to be longer than a day.”

And taxi drivers have been worried about GPS since 2005. Which also says something about how long it takes for the city to implement plans.

Photograph of taxi doors by Triborough on Flickr