Taxi plan: Trying to ease L.A. traffic

HOLLYWOOD A new pilot program is being tested in Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles that allows the public to hail taxis from curbs.

Los Angeles unveiled its new hail-a-taxi program on Thursday in Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles, Certain areas, like a stretch of Hollywood Boulevard, have been designated for the public to be able to hail a cab from the curb.

It will allow drivers to pick up and drop off passengers in normally restricted areas like red areas. They are also able to legally double-park for a short time.

The idea behind the six-month pilot program is to give taxis a bigger role in L.A.'s transportation system and ultimately help ease traffic backup.

Backers of the program say it will give cabbies room to roam, looking for fares instead of congregating at the limited numbers of cab stands.

"Sometimes when you try to flag them down, it seems like they don't' want to work," said Louis Bemudez, a resident who supports the program.

"If I'm walking down the street trying to get one, they just fly by," he said.

The only restriction the program put on taxi drivers is they won't be able to stop in bus zones.


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