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. cynthia

    Really?!? Who cares what they wear, so long as they don't smell like ass-
    That is when they should be fined

    November 27, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gabe

    Does this include deoderant? if not, it must.

    November 27, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. trey

    Who cares how they dress. they ride in a cab for hours on end. shudnt they be comfortable while doing it. nyc & all these regulations...Smh sad thing is I'm from nyc.

    November 27, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. trey

    where will it end with all these rules & regulations.

    November 27, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joseph Agunbiade

    I think the new rules will include increase in taxi fares. This is because; I do not want to suspect racism and malicious witch hunting, as obtaining in Indiana. The Indiana hoteliers are constantly looking for ways to favor their laid off friends, so that they can keep apportioning hotels' entries for them to pack their Limousines while African born taxi drivers were outlawed with bigotries and unpredictable fees. We are talking about America the land of the free?

    November 27, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sonu ny1

    i think ppl how make this lind rule do they really do they drrive taxi

    November 27, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. preet

    ppl how make this do they drive taxi too i

    November 27, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BlueLotus

    Nearly EVERY job requires a dress code. Why shouldn't cab drivers have a standard, especially with the common occurrence of serious neglect of appropriate dress and cleanliness? Anyone who has a public service job, should maintain themselves for the public they serve. I think it's disrespectful and unfair to the customers who don't reek of vomit... and even to those who do.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. lance

    how about just have them speak english for starters.

    November 27, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      Lance, have you ever met a cab driver who didnt speak english? Im sure that their poor english is better than your arabic...just sayin : /

      November 27, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. hallrona

    In case you didn't know Lance, this country was found on immigrants. How dare you say NY is filled wtih a cesspool of third world p

    November 28, 2010 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  11. Clint

    Have you ever rode in a taxi in Romania? Have you ever traveled outside the USA? You will retract all the comments that you have in your head... Just thank god that you have a nice car to ride from the Taxi... If you do not have the money to buy things, I guess you will have to deal with the way the taxi driver smells. maybe you need to tip him more...

    November 28, 2010 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |
  12. cynthia whitford

    I could't care less what cab driver wears as long as their honest and don't smell bad. They should be comfortable because they spend hours in the cab. And Lance just shut up. Your an ass

    November 28, 2010 at 4:54 am | Report abuse |
  13. Marty

    Cab drivers pay for the use of thier cabs, they are running their owne buisness. Big bother needs to stay out of their closets.

    November 28, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. Veritas

    Who cares just get me to my destination safely clothing is not an issue just be clean i dont go in a cab for a fashion show. driving is consrticting enough without wearing dress clothes get real!

    November 28, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mark S. Alexander

    Any rules on Passing Gas, as in Farts? - There was a ill-legitimate cabbie in London, "Gigi" @GigiJanel whose vehicle was as Noxious as any cow barn after milking. "STOP Da BUL-LIE FARTING" Just stop It. D.D./M.S.A.

    November 28, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
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