New Poll Shows L.A. Voters Overwhelmingly Reject Proposal to
Harm Taxi Industry and Driver Well-Being
Anti-innovation proposal from Councilmember Blumenfield would eliminate income opportunities for drivers
Los Angeles, CA February 7, 2019 – A new poll released this week shows that a majority of Angeleno voters, by a margin of 55-26 percent, oppose banning digital rooftop advertising for taxi drivers along with any policy that may negatively affect the ability of taxi drivers to earn income. Sixty-six percent of those surveyed said that the Los Angeles City Council and the Taxi Commission should be helping drivers earn more money without raising fares for riders.
Highlights of the survey include:
- Seven out of 10 Los Angeles voters agree that limiting new innovative opportunities for taxi drivers keeps them from competing and being competitive with rideshare.
- 66% surveyed feel the Los Angeles City Council and Taxi Commission should help drivers earn more money without raising fares for riders.
- 67% of the City’s registered voters would have a less favorable view of any official who votes to ban taxi drivers from earning more money by displaying taxi top advertising.
- Six out of 10 voters believe that a new policy to prevent taxi drivers from earning up to 20% more money would have a disproportionately harmful impact on minorities and immigrants.
- 71% surveyed agreed that limiting new innovative opportunities for taxi drivers would keep them from competing and being competitive with rideshare drivers.
“We need to be allowed to modernize and provide new opportunities for drivers to make additional income and compete,” said Andrey Minosyan of L.A. Independent Taxi. “Innovative digital mobile rooftop advertising allows drivers to earn more without working longer or increasing prices. Any ban would directly harm taxi drivers’ opportunities and the viability of the industry.”
The poll results come on the heels of a motion filed last week by Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield to repeal Taxi Board Rule 415(c), a section of the code allowing for mobile rooftop advertising on vehicles. This would remove steady income from drivers and eliminate opportunities for taxi drivers to earn additional income without driving longer. The motion would effectively ban any form of advertisement that exceeds the height of a vehicle.
“As the taxi industry embraces innovation and attempts to improve conditions for drivers and passengers alike, this motion is nothing more than an attack on those who cannot afford regulatory barriers to further harm their industry, prosperity and livelihoods,” said Kish Rajan, CALinnovates’ Chief Evangelist.
UCLA Professor Gary Blasi, author of the study “Driving Poor: Taxi Drivers and the Regulation of the Taxi Industry in Los Angeles ” stated, “Our research found that taxi drivers in Los Angeles worked very long hours for much less than a living wage. Since then, their situation has only grown worse as they have faced stiff competition from ride share companies. For the City of Los Angeles to deny these drivers and their families the ability to add a few hundred dollars to their meager incomes would be a disgrace.”
The poll, completed by John Zogby Strategies, surveyed a selection of registered voters in the City of Los Angeles from February 3-4.
** Media Interviews with John Zogby are available upon request.
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