PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine's largest city has backed down from a plan to require taxi drivers to renew their licenses in person following an outcry by Somali cab owners and drivers.
The Preti Flaherty law firm sued to block the policy from being implemented. Lawyer Sigmund Schutz said it was "a back-door attempt to squeeze out" airport taxi drivers.
The city is seeking to reduce the number of nonreserved airport access taxi permits for cabs outside the Portland International Jetport passenger terminal.
According to Schutz, 49 Somali immigrants hold such licenses. Schultz says the problem is that the cab drivers return frequently to their native Africa to tend to family needs. Now they'll be allowed to continue appointing a representative to renew licenses for them.