T. Tiner: A matter of commitment

This is in response to a story published in the Sun Journal about Somali taxi drivers suing over a new policy at the Portland jetport (Dec. 6).

The Somali drivers claimed it would be difficult to show up in person to get their permits renewed to operate at the jetport.

There are reasons for restricting the number of taxi drivers at the airport: to monitor the number of taxicabs filling up the drop-off/pickup zones while ensuring there are enough cabs available to provide the service people need.

If cab drivers are out of the area for months at a time, they are not available to meet the needs of the airport.

Renewing their permits in person ensures that cab drivers will be there for the travelers. It is not picking on any group of people, but dealing with an issue that needs control. There need to be enough drivers and, yet, not too many.

Responsibility and commitment are really the issues here. The drivers get permits to provide a service. If they can’t keep their commitment, they shouldn’t keep their permits.

Terry Tiner, Belgrade

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Jason Theriault's picture

I'm normally one to say give them a break, but

This isn't about giving the Somali's a break. This about responsibility to your job. I can't take months off and expect my job to still be there, why should they.

Steve  Dosh's picture

T. Tiner: A matter of commitment

Thanks Terry , !1.12.11 17:11 pm hst
. .. Have to laugh . How much does it cost to take a Japanese - Somalian - American hack from Portland to Belgrade ?
Last time i took a taxi in DC it was driven by a very happy and content former Somalian doctor . An immigrant . i just so happened to be working in the http://www.itcdc.com International Trade Center DC as Security Floor Warden for the 2nd largest US Federal office building . ...on 9.11
b t w - i am inquiring about a taxi from Portland , Oregon to Belgrade , MT 59714 . We live in Hawai'i . We don't expect you to know . It's merely a rhetorical question
Now , if you were in a taxi in Mogadishu . .er. .we won't go there . ...
Melé Kalikimaka , Steve and family :)

 's picture


Part of coming to this country and wanting to be accepted is obeying OUR LAWS. To drive a car you need a license and you need to get it in person. The same goes for the permits for taxis at the airport. Some of these people that come want us to welcome them with open arms are arrogant, rude and believe cause they came from a land of strife that here they don't have to obey any laws, you go sign up and get everything free and we should just look the other way when they decide they don't want to obey the laws saying oh they come from a bad country. They should have to abide by the same rules and laws that Americans have to. Maybe thats part of the problems in their own country and if it continues here how long will be before we are living in the same conditions. If you think Sharia Law isn't a horror story of its own then try reading it.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The law ostensibly applies to

The law ostensibly applies to all of us.

That being said, all citizens and legal residents have a right to challenge any law they feel is unjust in an appropriate manner.

Challenging the new permit policy is a far cry from instituting Sharia Law, so I’m a bit baffled why you bring that up. It is irrelevant to the discussion.

I’m generally opposed to airport taxi permits. In my opinion, it serves no purpose other than to limit access to the air terminal; perhaps to protect profits for a selected few at the expense of higher customer fares.

We should all remember that challenging government expansion is as American as apple pie or have we all forgotten what freedom means?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

1. “..monitor the number of

1. “..monitor the number of taxicabs filling up the drop-off/pickup zone” – This task has nothing to do with permitting. There is only a finite number of slots available in the drop-off/pickup zone that are shared amongst all drivers; moreover, the amount of traffic competing for these drop-off/pickup slots is a function of the number of travelers wanting to enter or exit the air terminal, not the number of taxi drivers with/without permits. TSA regulations prevent anyone for hovering at the drop-off/pickup zone, so if there are not enough slots, cabs just have to circle the terminal.

2. “ensuring there are enough cabs available to provide the service people need.” – Again, this has nothing to do with permitting. It is a function of economics. Assume that you are a taxi driver with an airport permit. That being said, you can get 2x the income if you provide service to the Maine Mall – where would you solicit fares – the mall or the airport? Taxi drivers will flock to where the money is to be made.

3. “Renewing their permits in person ensures that cab drivers will be there for the travelers.” - This is also false. Drivers will seek to maximize their incomes whether it is the airport or not. Having a permit will not force drivers to favor the airport over some other venue that makes them more money.

In closing, it is pure economics that drives taxi cab availability. Historically, an air terminal provides for more and higher fares. Perhaps that is the real reason behind the permits; the permits don’t ensure service, it limits access to the air terminal and drives up consumer fares Your argument is simply turned inside out.

ERNEST LABBE's picture

100% correct

Be here to renew or give up your spot.


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