The ride around town will soon be different for those who hail cabs in Sacramento.
Tuesday night, Sacramento’s City Council members approved a controversial ordinance tightening regulations on the industry.
The maximum flag-drop fee will now be $4 dollars and all cabbies must accept credit cards at all times as part of the changes.
One of the biggest complaint of riders is the hygiene and appearance of drivers was addressed the way the original proposal was written. Drivers would have had to wear collared shirts, dress slacks and closed toe shoes under the ordinance set before council members.
They decided to amend the proposal after hearing drivers share that they were insulted by what they saw as a suggestion that they were disheveled and unclean.
The ordinance pass only demands professional dress, which many fear leaves the door open too wide for interpretation.
Traditional dress from a driver’s native country such as India or Pakistan will also be acceptable.
Drivers will still be required to take a test that explores their English and math proficiency, but that testing will not start in 30 days as the other requirements will.
City staff say council members have directed them to work with drivers in the industry to help them better understand city expectations and test material.
The form of that outreach – workshops, training sessions, pamphlets – has not yet been decided.
In addition to creating more comfortable rides for Sacramentans, hotel and convention directors hope these changes make the city more competitive in their industries.