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Sacramento Cabbies Upset Over Proposed Hygiene, Dress Code Requirements

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — New proposed rules for cab drivers in Sacramento are causing some cabbies to think they're being taken for a ride.

At a time when competition for cabs has never been more fierce, drivers say the new rules, including a dress code and hygiene guidelines, are just not fair.

Ahmid Mahmoud is fired up about the proposed changes.

"We don't have rent to pay? We don't have bills to pay?" he said.

So he's lining up his fellow drivers to take on City Hall.

The city is considering putting stricter rules in place for Sacramento taxi drivers including:

  • Making sure vehicles are no more than 8 years old,
  • A dress code of a collared shirt and slacks,
  • Making it mandatory for all taxis to accept credit cards,
  • and a new policy requiring drivers to be hygienically clean.

"That's very insulting for me, and for all drivers," Mahmoud said, calling the last requirement unnecessary.

Facing growing competition from web-based rides Uber and the ride-sharing service Lyft, some Sacramento taxi drivers say the proposed cabbie crackdown could put the brakes on their business.

The city calls it good business.

"I want them to be the ambassadors, and be the representatives for our city," said Dafna Gauthier.

The proposal also calls for drivers to take a cabbie quiz testing their command of the English language.

FACEBOOK QUIZ: 17 sample questions from the city.

Some are hoping the changes go through, but Mahmoud might beg to differ.

"You don't tell them after 25 years or 10 years you need to take a test," he said.

The quiz would include directional questions: One city official says a cabbie didn't know how to take her five blocks from City Hall to the Capitol.

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