City Law Calls for Taxicabs to Be 'Reasonably Clean'

By Watanabe, June | Honolulu Star - Advertiser, September 17, 2014 | Go to article overview

City Law Calls for Taxicabs to Be 'Reasonably Clean'


Watanabe, June, Honolulu Star - Advertiser


Question: Is there an agency that checks the interior of taxicabs for cleanliness? Recently I took a taxi as I was late for an appointment. The cab company sent me a very polite driver whose cab was old but clean on the outside. But I, at age 88, had difficulty getting in because the cab's floor was very low and covered with debris. It was raining, so I forced my way in. The entire cab reeked of urine. Because I could not get out without the help of the driver, it was raining and I was very late for my appointment, I took the cab. Under normal circumstances I would have dismissed it. What agency should I contact to prevent other elders from experiencing what I experienced?

Answer: Call the city Department of Customer Services' Taxicab Section at 733-2540 or the Motor Vehicle Control Section at 733-2430.

You need to provide the taxicab operator number, which can be found on the dome or rear bumper of the vehicle, or the cab's license plate number; the date and time of the incident; plus any other relevant information, said Sheri Kajiwara, director of customer services.

Section 12-1.14 of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu covers "condition of taxicabs."

It says, "No vehicle shall be operated as a taxicab unless it is in a reasonably clean and safe condition inside, so as not to damage the person, clothing or possessions of a passenger. The vehicle's exterior shall be reasonably clean and shall be essentially free from cracks, breaks and major dents. It shall be painted to provide adequate protection and appearance. Each operating wheel shall be equipped with hub caps or wheel covers. Repairs done to comply with this section shall be done within a reasonable time based on availability of parts and labor."

A taxicab company would be notified about any complaint.

The cab in question would be required to go in for an inspection, Kajiwara said. Depending on the findings, the operator's license may be suspended temporarily, until the problem is remedied.

"However, historically speaking, in all cases of this type, the taxicab will show up all cleaned up so no further action is needed," she said. …

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