Agency mulls St. Louis taxi ‘vomit cleanup’ charge

Jul 15, 2013, 9:11 PM

ST. LOUIS (AP) – The agency that oversees St. Louis’ taxi industry appears to be getting sick of passengers vomiting in cabs, and it’s looking at charging passengers cleanup fees to pay for the mess.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission is considering whether to join various other cities in enforcing taxi cleanup fees when drunken passengers spew or leave other bodily fluids behind, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Monday (
http://bit.ly/15wmGsF).

The move follows complaints by cab drivers who say it can take hours to clean and disinfect a cab after someone has vomited, costing those drivers potential fares during the down time.

The amount of possible charges remains undecided, though the regulatory commission’s executive director, Ron Klein, said the possible cleanup fees would be “reasonable” in compensating drivers for lost time and adequate cleaning.

“We’re going to have more discussion about it,” said Klein, a former sergeant in the St. Louis Police Department’s traffic division.

Chicago already charges a $50 “vomit cleanup fee.” In Austin, Texas, $100 is added to the trip fare if a passenger soils the taxi’s interior with bodily fluids or solids.

Officials with the St. Louis commission acknowledge the issue can be a tricky one, given that driving inebriated people home _ thus keeping them off the roads _ is a vital function of taxis.

“We promote our cabs as being the ultimate designated driver,” Klein said.

Paul Grisham, an independent cab driver, supports allowing drivers to charge passengers for cleanup costs, saying it was not uncommon for someone to vomit in his cab. Such passengers rarely offer to pay or help clean up the mess, he said.

Some observers also say imposing a fee would be appropriate.

“You’re destroying someone’s property,” said Debi Seiffert of St. Louis. “I mean, if my friend puked in my car, they’d clean it up. Trust me.”

___

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
http://www.stltoday.com

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

Associated Press

Northern California wildfire threatens 500 buildings

BRIDGEPORT, Calif. (AP) — A wildfire that erupted in Northern California forced evacuations as it threatened about 500 homes and other buildings Tuesday, authorities said. The Rices Fire erupted at around 2 p.m. near the Yuba River in Nevada County and had spread to more than 500 acres (202 hectares) by nightfall, said Unit Chief […]
24 hours ago
Rich Morris of Toadflax Nursery helps to plant marijuana seedlings at Homestead Farms and Ranch in ...
Associated Press

New York’s 1st legal marijuana crop sprouts under the sun

CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (AP) — New York’s recreational marijuana market is beginning to sprout, literally, with thin-leafed plants stretching toward the sun in farms around the state. In a novel move, New York gave 203 hemp growers first shot at cultivating marijuana destined for legal sales, which could start by the end of the year. […]
24 hours ago
FILE - R. Kelly arrives at the Cook County Criminal Court Building, in Chicago, June 13, 2008. R&B ...
Associated Press

R. Kelly timeline: Shining star to convicted sex trafficker

R. Kelly’s musical accomplishments have been accompanied by a long history of allegations that he sexually abused women and children. Now the R&B singer could be put away behind bars for a quarter-century or more when he is sentenced Wednesday in a federal courtroom in New York City. A jury found Kelly guilty in September […]
24 hours ago
FILE - R. Kelly appears during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago, Sept. 17, ...
Associated Press

R&B hitmaker R. Kelly due in court for sex abuse sentencing

NEW YORK (AP) — R& B star R. Kelly faces the possibility of a quarter century or more in prison when he is sentenced Wednesday in a federal sex trafficking case in New York. A jury found Kelly, 55, guilty of racketeering and other counts last year at a trial that was seen as a […]
24 hours ago
FILE - Abortion-rights activists protest outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Saturday, June 25...
Associated Press

Clinics scramble to divert patients as states ban abortion

They call her, desperate, scared and often broke. Some are rape and domestic violence victims. Others are new mothers, still breastfeeding infants. Another pregnancy so soon, they say, is something they just can’t handle. “Heart wrenching,” said Angela Huntington, an abortion navigator for Planned Parenthood in Missouri, who is helping callers reschedule canceled abortion appointments […]
24 hours ago
A man pays his respects at the site where officials found dozens of people dead in a semitrailer co...
Associated Press

San Antonio migrant deaths lead to slow effort to ID victims

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Victims have been found with no identification documents at all and in one case a stolen ID. Remote villages lack phone service to reach family members and determine the whereabouts of missing migrants. Fingerprint data has to be shared and matched by different governments. More than a day after the discovery […]
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Agency mulls St. Louis taxi ‘vomit cleanup’ charge