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Bad Calls

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[Re: "Here Comes Trouble," June 29]

Dear Mayor Daley:

All of the cabbies are disturbed about the new policy of conditional renewal of chauffeur licenses that is linked to one call a day in an underserved neighborhood as outlined by the city. First of all, there are no underserved neighborhoods in the city of Chicago but neighborhoods or areas where cab demand is low and people may have to wait a little longer for the cab. So the phrase "underserved neighborhood" should be replaced with "low-demand neighborhood." There are extra licenses being issued especially to serve these low-demand neighborhoods and cabs are clearly marked "neighborhood cab." Even these few cabs are having hard times to make the ends meet by solely working in these areas and are now seen Near North, downtown, and at the airports. Why is the city imposing such an unfair one-call-a-day policy on the other thousands of cabbies when there is not enough business for these few cabs?

All the areas, including Sauganash, Edgebrook, Hyde Park, Ravenswood, Jefferson Park, are being well served by the cabbies. People are upset because they have to wait longer to get the cab but they are not willing to pay extra for the drive-up/pickup time for the cabbie.

Otherwise, I recommend city pay $100 incentive bonus each week to every cabbie who picks up seven calls per week in the city's outlined areas. I can assure you carrot-versus-stick approach will work more effectively. Please do not attach these conditions to the renewal of chauffeur licenses.

Could the city recommend such unfair policy for renewal of law or medical licenses because they do not practice in the city-outlined areas? In fact, most doctors do not accept medicaid, public aid, and Kidcare. Should their licenses not be renewed until they meet a one-public-aid-patient-a-day policy? People who have to depend on public aid, medicaid, and Kidcare have limited choices of doctors. City and state will not mess with them because they are rich and powerful and are members of powerful organizations like AMA and ABA. Cabbies are easy targets because they are poor and powerless.

Mr. Mayor, I appeal to you that you personally intervene in this crucial matter to revoke the unfair policy of conditional renewal of chauffeur licenses immediately.

Aasi T. Siddique

W. Rosemont

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