Athens Taxi Dilemma
This is bullshit. All of it should have been in place years ago. Of course a fucking convicted felon shouldn't be driving around strangers, much less drunk teenagers and college kids. A "first in first out" policy shouldn't have to be enacted by the government. The cab drivers should be doing that ridiculousness out of policy and good business practices.
It's the typical dog and pony show that Athens-Clarke County engages in when there's a problem and the government wants to look like it's doing something without actually doing anything.
The real problems are numerous. Cab drivers over-charging and taking advantage of their fares is one. The solution? Require every cab to have a dash-mounted fare system that digitally shows its passengers the running tab to bring them from one location to another. It's harder to screw over your passengers when there's an electronically run fare system in place.
Unruly passengers are a common problem. Consider this story. Did they do it? Did they not? A lengthy and very public investigation that tarnished UGA's football program temporarily (although other players, the former Athletic Director, and mediocre coaching has essentially screwed our program as of now) ended up being unfounded, but could have been avoided had taxi companies had cameras installed in their taxis.
And the most public problem? Girls getting picked up downtown, driven out into the middle of nowhere, and raped under the initial assumption that they were getting into what they thought was a cab. The solution? There are several, in my opinion. The first is more markings on the taxi. A simple magnetic sign on the side and a barely-lit "Taxi" slapped on the top are easy enough for your local white-van rapist to get his hands on. We should require more. More permanent markings. More lit signs. Perhaps even a standard multi color-scheme for all cabs that isn't in line with any Joe-Schmo who owns a big white cargo van and a tendancy to pick up drunk college girls downtown and rape them.
Another solution? Fucking taxi stands. Marked taxi stands around downtown. Throw a police officer or two in the mix and not only will your typical, retarded intoxicated college kid know where to go to get a legitimate taxi, but there will be supervision, accountability, and keep those goddamn giant white taxis out of the middle of Clayton street blocking traffic, keep drunk pedestrians from running in front of moving vehicles, & generally make things safer.
Until the government actually suggests and implements actual solutions for the problems that have been plaguing the taxi system for years, then you're going to have the same problems that we've been having for such a long time. Kids will continue to get ripped off from dishonest cab drivers. Bad shit will happen in cabs to passengers and cabbies alike without some in-cab accountability. I've been in a cab alone before, and had the driver show me his pistol. What the fuck? Who does that?
And worst of all, girls will continue to get raped. How long until one is murdered? Mothers and fathers of college kids will have to get the phone call from the police that their daughter has been taken advantage of. Lives will be forever changed.
So Athens-Clarke County...get up off of your ass and fucking do something about it!