Cab drivers in San Jose expand strike calling for equal regulation on Uber, Lyft

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Hundreds of taxi drivers did not provide rides again Tuesday at Mineta San Jose International Airport and have taken their strike citywide as part of a protest calling for equal regulations for ride-booking service drivers.

After a walkout Monday, about 300 drivers continued to halt service at the airport, where they drove tbetween terminals A and B but did not pick up or drop off passengers, San Jose Airport Taxi Driver Association president Shakur Buni said.

The mayor said his proposal revolves around keeping passengers safe, but taxi drivers believe that more must be done to level the playing field and that Uber and Lyft drivers should still have to go through the same requirements they do to access the airport.

Paul Falcone flew in from San Diego only to find that airport taxi drivers had gone on strike. "It really frustrates me right now," he said.

Many taxi drivers honked making their presence known. "Taking this approach at getting your voice heard just really upsets the people that use your service in the first place," Falcone said.

The city council is considering eliminating mandatory fingerprinting for all drivers from on-demand ride-service companies such as Uber and Lyft.

In its place would be random audits of one-percent of drivers each month, which would verify the driver's identity and review their criminal history.

Any outstanding warrants would also be checked. "We've tried to carve out a path here, that protects the public's right to be able to choose what kind of service they want, but at the same time, we're protecting the safety of the public," San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said.

But cab operators say more must be done to balance the system. "Seeing, you know, these big corporations getting away with little to no enforcement, no inspections, basically doing what they want," Yellow Checker Cab Company driver Larry Silva said.

"If something happened at the airport or to the customer, it is the total industry that will be at risk, not only Uber," taxi owner Kebede Kaba said.

Until airport taxi drivers return, passengers flying into Mineta can utilize group shuttles or limousines at the curb.

"It's one of those things that you just take for granted as you come into a city and just grab a cab and go and I got caught today," Falcone said.

A vote on the issue could come as soon as Tuesday evening.

Bay City News contributed to this report.
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