Commissioners vote unanimously for proposed new taxi law

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL (WFLX) - Big changes could be coming to taxi cab, limousine, van, shuttle and other vehicles for hire companies.

Update, MON 3:30 PM: The Palm Beach County Commission voted unanimously for proposed changes to taxi and other for hire vehicle companies establishing dress codes.

The proposal calls for drivers to be hygienically clean and well groomed. Also each vehicle for hire in the county would have to accept debit and credit cards.

A second vote by the commission will take place on April 16.

Previously: At the Palm Beach County Commissioners meeting Tuesday, new requirements will be considered for drivers. Commissioners will face an initial vote on the new ordinance Tuesday.

The proposal suggests that vehicle safety, customer service, and "the image of the vehicle for hire industry" would be enhanced with the new rules.

For the first time, drivers would be subject to a dress code. An executive summary of the proposal states  drivers would have to be, "Hygienically clean, well groomed and neat in appearance.  Collared shirt, long trousers or knee length skirt and closed shoes".

Peter John, the owner of A/C Yellow Cab, responded to the dress code proposal. "Uniform is not right requirement for cab driver, but code dress is a requirement. You can show them how to wearing to drive, but not really uniform, because this isn't a factory, it's transportation," he said.

If passed, the new rules would require that vehicles for hire, including taxis and limousines, accept bank debit or credit card in addition to cash. "To pay with the credit card is, yes, it's a good thing. But it's optional if the company doesn't want to take your credit card.  No law can say you're supposed to take the credit card if the company don't want you to," John said.

The proposed rule change would also require companies to retire vehicles that are older than ten years or seven years if they have more than 500,000 miles.

If initial approval is given at the Tuesday meeting, a public hearing and a second vote will happen on April 16.

If given final approval, the new rules would be enforced starting June 1, 2013.  Existing companies would have five years to comply.

Palm Beach County Cab Ordinance (click here to view on mobile:

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