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City Council Could Soon Consider Bill For Taxi Grading System

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Driving in New York City can be a bit of an adventure, but the city council could soon consider a bill to help keep cab drivers in check.

City Councilman Carlos Menchaca is drafting the bill which would establish a grading system for city taxi drivers, CBS 2's Diane Macedo reported.

Menchaca declined to comment, saying the legislation hasn't been introduced yet, but passenger advocacy groups say if done well, it could be a great idea.

"It could create a tool for transparency, accountability, consumer choice-- something we don't have in the NYC taxi industry," Michael O'Loughlin said, campaign director for Cab Riders United.

But industry insiders disagree.

"We should do a lot more of recognizing the safest and best drivers, rewarding them and holding them up as a model and that's something that's happening and we should encourage that. But letter grades I'm not too sure about," Spokesman for the Metropolitan Taxi Cab Board of Trade Michael Woloz said.

So what do passengers think?

"Seems like a fair, good idea," Neil Bachani said.

"I'd feel more safe getting a cab knowing it had a good rating," Janice Gross said.

But taxi rider Genevieve Radford seems more ambivalent.

"I really don't think it's that important," she said.

However, most passengers say if the weather is bad or they're in a rush, they'd get into a cab no matter what the grade.

There is no word yet on when Menchaca will introduce the bill, Macedo reported.

In the meantime, taxi passengers can report complaints or compliments on or by calling 311.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission declined to comment, saying they haven't seen the bill yet but do already collect information including drivers' traffic summonses and vehicle safety checks.

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