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Why are Menino and City Council still dragging their feet on change?

SINCE THE Globe’s Spotlight Team revealed the Boston taxi industry for the extortionate, corrupt, incompetently regulated oligopoly that it is, columnists Edward L. Glaeser, Tom Keane, and Jeff Jacoby have offered opinions about how the system should be reformed. But who among them has asked the drivers themselves what they think reform should look like?

Among the three, only Jacoby (“Ending medallion oligopoly will help clean up the mess,” Op-ed, April 7) has paid attention to the exploitation of drivers at the hands of avaricious medallion owners and under the noses of Mayor Menino and his collusive, willfully blind hackney regulators.

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But what has to be understood is that more medallions, increased insurance, and smartphone technology are not panaceas for greed and exploitation in the taxi industry. The industry requires a comprehensive overhaul under a civilian Hackney Commission that includes union drivers, who have been fighting to expose this egregious scandal since 2007.

To this point, there is sadly a deafening silence coming from both the Menino administration and the City Council. Is fear and intimidation still alive there? Do the medallion owners have even more power than we think? Who’s keeping down the lid at City Hall?

Donna Blythe-Shaw

United Steelworkers/Boston
Taxi Drivers Association
Staff representative


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