Program Eases Limits on Taxi Pickups

Hoping to get the "Hail-a-Taxi" pilot program into high gear, authorities Monday posted signs in Hollywood alerting residents and tourists to the relaxed restrictions on taxi service.

Under the program, cab drivers now may pick up or drop off passengers in previously off-limits zones, such as red-curb areas.

The pilot program will be in effect in Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles until January 31, 2010.  

Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, whose district includes Hollywood, noted the program will "make it easier for people to enjoy the world-class attractions, shopping and dining in this community, and it alleviates traffic congestion."

Kerry Morrison, executive director of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, called the program "a huge coup for night-clubbers but also for the daytime folk who find the distance between subway stops, for example, daunting."

"It aims to provide more transportation options for people, which ultimately makes for fewer cars on the road," he said.

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Leron Gubler said they had been pursuing the Hail-a-Taxi project for years.

"We are pleased that Hollywood will be leading the way to show that Angelenos are ready to leave their cars and use other forms of transportation in order to ease traffic congestion on our streets." Gubler said.

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