Taxis in East LA
The Rich Hispanic Culture
The LA area has a
deserved reputation as a cultural melting pot, a place where different cultures
and ethnicities mix, bringing a unique diversity and vibrancy to the
metropolis. Nowhere is this more apparent than in East LA,
where the population is 95% Hispanic (US Census 2000). The residents are
mounting a campaign to apply for cityhood, to separate them from the City of Los Angeles and reinforce
the unique identity of East LA.
Whilst many of the Hispanic community are bilingual in English and Spanish, a significant proportion only speaks Spanish, and can run into some difficulties. To tap into this growing market, an increasing number of taxi companies have started to employ Spanish speaking drivers and dispatchers. They are also embracing the internet revolution, creating websites and online booking forms in both Spanish and English. This will encourage a larger proportion of the non-English speaking residents to use taxis, and provide a great service to the community.
Curing Car Addiction - Improving the Transport Network
This is all positive, but the residents of the area are still addicted to the car culture prevalent in LA. They have never really adopted cabs as a mode of transport, a mindset that the city is determined to change, as part of the drive to reduce congestion. The City of Los Angeles has relaxed the laws concerning where cabbies can pick up fares, making it much easier to hail a cab on the street. Whilst this program will not be effective overnight, it promises to help the inhabitants of LA adopt the same cab culture as the New Yorkers.
In East LA, this drive towards promoting taxis as the preferred means of transport is linked to the improving transportation links between East LA and the rest of the city. The Gold Line extension to the railway network promises to benefit the residents of East LA and BoylePark, connecting them to the city infrastructure. For the first time, this area will be able to benefit from mass transit, other than the bus, and the taxi companies promise to integrate with the new service. This approach will give the residents of the area a way of traveling from the door to the station, and then on into the main city.
The Advantages of Taxis in East LA
For seniors and
the disabled, the flexibility of an effective taxi company is especially
important, and the East LA taxi companies
offer discounts. They also subscribe to the various municipal dial-a-cab
schemes, designed to prevent people from becoming housebound, relying upon
outside help to do the shopping and run errands. Most companies have cabs
designed for easy wheelchair access, and the drivers are fully trained in
helping the infirm and the disabled, even carrying the groceries to the door.
There is another major advantage to taxis, and that is that they are the only mode of transport available when the public transport system begins to shut down after midnight. Calling a cab gives a door-to-door service, with no walking involved, so proves to be a safer option for many people.
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