The Globe Spotlight Team spent nine months examining Boston’s $1 billion taxi industry. The team interviewed scores of drivers, owners, cabbie advocates, and specialists in the economics of the industry. In addition, reporters reviewed hundreds of court documents and other public records to compile a portrait of the city’s largest fleet owner, Edward J. Tutunjian. One team member, reporter Bob Hohler, who worked as a taxi driver in the 1970s, obtained a city-issued license and drove eight shifts for the city’s largest fleet owner. The team, in its three-part series, has chronicled an industry in which cab drivers are routinely exploited, subjected to petty bribes and commonly overcharged by cab owners. Moreover, the series demonstrates the Boston Police Department fails in many ways to do its job. It intensely regulates drivers but almost never imposes discipline on owners who disobey city regulations with impunity. And Hohler’s work behind the wheel of a city cab gives readers a front-seat view of what it’s like to work in this gritty industry.
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