Thursday, September 18, 2014

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Taxi Dress Code Wording Up For Debate

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TWC News: Taxi Dress Code Wording Up For Debate
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The Taxi and Limousine Commission held a meeting Thursday to discuss adjustments to language on the rules about a driver's appearance.

While there have been rules on the matter since the 1980s, the proposed change is to require drivers to have a "professional appearance."

This would be in addition to current wording requiring cab drivers to look "clean and neat."

The agency is pushing to eliminate language that prohibits specific clothing including tank tops, underwear as outerwear, swimwear or cut off shorts. The TLC says those references are dated and unnecessary.

"Drivers are ambassadors of the city, for tourists, for New Yorkers, as well," said TLC Chairman David Yassky. “But particularly you think of tourists coming to the city, getting into a cab, and they want to be greeted in a professional way."

"I don't think they need the tie, but they should be appropriately dressed because people from other countries are seeing us and they do reflect that," agreed one taxi passenger.

Taxi Workers Alliance wants the language kept as is, because it's specific.

"The term 'professional attire' seems open to subjective reading," said Bhairavi Desai of the Taxi Workers Alliance. "And our concern would be inspectors might begin to write summonses. It's something that ends up being easy money for the TLC."

"They're not clearing anything up here," said cab driver Osman Chowdhury.

For the most part, New Yorkers who spoke with NY1 said they do not care what their drivers wear.

"As long as the cab's clean and safe, I'm fine with how they dress," said one New Yorker. “They're sitting in their car all day. They should be comfortable. As long as they're pleasant and courteous.”

Since 1996, only 46 summonses have been issued for violating the TLC dress code. Violations carry a $25 fine.

The proposed change is still at the discussion phase, with the term "professional" still needing some outline.

If voted on as scheduled early in the new year, the new dress code would take effect April 1st.

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