DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - For more than a year and a half, a handful of Downtowners have taken advantage of a pilot program allowing them to hail cabs on the street, rather than at designated taxi stands.

Now the situation is about to be extended in perpetuity. On Tuesday, May 11, the City Council unanimously approved a motion by Ninth District Councilwoman Jan Perry to make the Hail-A-Taxi program permanent in Downtown and Hollywood. The program allows cab drivers to idle at No Stopping and No Parking zones alongside parked vehicles to load and unload passengers. Taxis are still prohibited from halting at bus stops. The pilot program began in August 2008. Although some drivers have complained that they are still being ticketed for stopping in red zones to pick up passengers, city officials have reported an increase in taxi use, though they said it occurs more frequently in Hollywood than Downtown.

page 2, 05/17/2010

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