November 26th, 2010
08:55 PM ET

Proposed dress code for NYC cabbies asks less of drivers

New York's famous (infamous?) taxi drivers may get a new dress code in 2011 that's shorter in form than the current version but broader in intent.

As it's written now, section 4-15 (b) of the Taxicab Drivers Rules manual (PDF) states that drivers face a $25 fine for failing to be "clean and neat in dress and person." In terms of specifics, that means a driver may not wear underwear, tank tops, tube tops, body shirts, swimwear, bathing trunks or cut-off shorts as outer clothing.

A proposed amendment would replace the list of prohibited apparel (PDF) with a more general requirement: that a driver "present a professional appearance."

The Taxi and Limousine Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed rules December 16. In the meantime, the agency is accepting comments through the NYC Rules website until December 6.

"The TLC believes that a general requirement better states its concerns and that a detailed list is outmoded and impractical," the city agency said in a public notice on its website. "The TLC believes that the public is entitled to drivers who present a neat and professional appearance."

TLC Chairman David Yassky told the New York Times that the change, which is expected to be approved at the December hearing, is part of an effort to simplify the 62-page rulebook.

The executive director of drivers' advocacy group told the Times said she was shocked to hear that a driver could be fined for his or her sartorial choices.

“What was it about? Somebody wore shorts?” asked Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. “I would be concerned if the idea of professional attire is left to the naked eye to decide.”

The new rule is bundled with a seemingly unrelated proposal that eliminates the need for drivers to inform passengers at the start of the trip that they must pay for any tolls, under the basis that "the riding public is aware, generally, that passengers are responsible for tolls."

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Filed under: New York • Travel
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Acey

    Mmm, a cabbie in underwear. Glad I own a car.

    November 26, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uncle Sam

      You've never driven in NYC have you?

      November 27, 2010 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
    • David H.

      Glad I always take the subway, when in Manhattan!

      November 27, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • RICK

      KEEP RIDDING THE SUBWAY BECAUSE YOU CAN'T AFFORD THE NYC CAB ...

      November 27, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Diane

      CAN WE JUST HAVE SMELLL CODE!!! END THAT B.O!!

      November 28, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • ltscuba56

      They should have not only a dress code, but a rule that they must bathe daily!!!

      November 28, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ducey

    Me too.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. kuuipo

    I think they don't pay cab drivers enough money to start giving them a dress code! telling grown people who risk their lives picking up strangers for a living to dress the way they say is asking too much! what next?! i do not agree with cab drivers wearing only underwear or on the outside of clothing but then if you accept the ride then thats on you! think about that one! so if the cab driver needs money its up to him to do more then dress appropriately.

    November 26, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • MargeGunderson

      Cab Driver, I don't care if you're driving me around in a pink bunny suit or, for that matter, in your boxers, as long as you're reasonably hygienic and a safe driver!

      And I wouldn't climb in your cab in urine and/or puke soiled clothing without first warning/asking you and second, providing a huge amount of newspapers spread out over the seat. If at all possible I would take the subway where I could stand.

      Kudos for the horrors you must deal with on occasion, and may this week bring many fat tips and friendly passengers!

      November 27, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • muhrvis

      I am sure many passengers risk their lives riding in a cab too, and they have no idea how bad the driver is going to be until they are already in for the ride.

      November 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cab Driver

    Look at the way some of you dress. Especially after the bar closes and you need a ride home. Your friend's made you call a cab because you wet yourelf, and you smell like puke. but I gotta give you a ride dressed properly?

    November 26, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • arc1929

      Very good point!

      November 27, 2010 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
    • CITIZEN

      Yes, because you provide a public service. The same reason doctors at an ER cannot turn away from indigents. Itherwise, go look for a job on Prada at 5th Ave, if you want only to tend to well-dressed and bathed people....

      November 27, 2010 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • RICK

      CAB DRIVER IS RIGHT

      November 27, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I was unaware that I need to pay tolls or that Cabies did not know that if they dressed well they make better tips....

      November 27, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • muhrvis

      Yes, those who provide a service to customers have an obligation to be professional and courteous. Most of us really appreciate it! I'd advise you to refuse to take any passenger who has vomit on them, or smells, or is so drunk they might pass out or throw up. You are not forced to give them a ride if you choose not to.

      November 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. DinaK

    Thank goodness!

    November 26, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. AmericanAnnie

    Hmm I wonder if theyll include mandatory daily showers for the cabbies instead of that cheap nauseating car deodorant they used.

    Man, having lived in NYC for five years, Ive been exposed to so many odours in cabs.

    November 26, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. nyc

    I think dressing professionally will be better for the cab drivers aswell as the passengers because some people may enjoy the ride better seeing a neat and clean person. i think they should only dress that way from 6 am to 6pm.

    November 27, 2010 at 4:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. glo

    I don't think cabbies are or wear underwear. Some type of men's boxers are used for shorts. I have worn them. I believe that a person dealing with the public should be neat,clean and properly dressed, A female cab driver wearing something to revealing may bring on a situation that could perhaps be avoided. In general no one wants to ride with somene smelling,dirty and plain unclean'I believe that apprioapte dress should be required to a point.

    November 27, 2010 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mitchell Kalner

    My post, I guess was deemed not appropiate for all of you politically correct bleeding heart liberal sister Theresa morons, what is going to offend you next. What in the world is next. What should they wear? Black tie formal? Your all a bunch of P.C. Complete Idiots.

    November 27, 2010 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. admiral 149

    As long as a cabbie does not smell bad I have never noticed their wardrobe.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. Nat

    I think it is a good rule. .they represent nyc after all..

    November 27, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  12. CCB

    They are taking away all these cab drivers rights. Whats going to be next? They wont be able to drive around picking thier noses?

    November 27, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. Shecky

    I think cabbies should be required to TAKE A SHOWER and BRUSH THEIR TEETH.

    November 27, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. sal

    Stinkers need to find other work, however if the driver and vehicle are clean the manner of dress does not matter to me!

    November 27, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  15. RICK

    SHAME ON ALL OF YOU GUYS CRITICIZING THE CAB DRIVERS, ONE WEEK CAB STRIKE IN THE CITY IN HOLIDAYS GONNA MESS THE CITY UPSIDE DOWN AND I AM BETTING ON STRIKE IF THEY PUT UNIFORMS ON DRIVERS....

    November 27, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • lance

      who cares if they go on strike, N.Y. is a cesspool of 3rd world degenerates.

      November 27, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
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