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Recession giving taxi drivers ‘heavy pains’

Date Posted: 2009-02-26

The economy’s recessionary traits are impacting many businesses, and taxi companies say their woes come in the form of “four heavy pains.”

Company owners lament the fact that deregulation has become entangled with the recession, adding more competition at the time there are fewer passengers. They say competition has generated more taxis on the streets, but fewer customers to ride in them. As business declines, taxi officials say more people are turning to bicycles or buses, or simply staying home.

A third complaint, or pain, they say, is the ease with which people can become taxi drivers. As the economy declines, unemployed workers are turning to driving taxicabs because “it’s easy to become a driver.” The fourth worry for taxi drivers is safety. Drivers say robberies are increasing as the economy becomes more depressed. Taxi drivers are easy prey for would-be robbers, so taxi companies are developing new systems to protect their drivers.

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