Taxi Drivers to Strike Again After City Council Approves Ridesharing Services at Mineta San Jose International Airport

A taxi drivers strike in San Jose will continue at least another day after the city council unanimously voted late Tuesday to allow ridesharing services to pick up passengers at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport.

The San Jose City Council said it would like to give taxi drivers a level playing field with ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, but its hands are tied by state law.

Councilman Raul Peralez represents the district that includes the Mineta San Jose International Airport and said ridesharing companies are regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission except at the airport.

"We want to go to the state and advocate with the CPUC to improve their requirements for background checks," Peralez said. "That way we will affect more than the airport, it will affect the entire city.

The council's plan required 1 percent of the rideshare drivers to be randomly checked for criminal backgrounds and warrants each month. Meanwhile, all taxi drivers have to be checked.

"We are really disappointed in our leaders that they take this stand," San Jose Airport Taxi Driver Association president Shakur Buni said. "It's really an issue of safety."

Drivers are calling for all ridesharing service drivers to be fingerprinted and undergo background checks and to be charged the same fees as taxi drivers, Buni said.

Earlier in the day, hundreds of taxi drivers did not pick up passengers as part of the protest calling for equal regulations for ridesharing service drivers. About 300 drivers also continued to halt service at the airport, where they drove today between terminals A and B but did not pick up or drop off passengers.

Taxi drivers said they plan to continue the strike on Wednesday.

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