A service that many Philadelphians take for granted also happens to be one of the most dangerous jobs in the city. Khalid Alvi, president of the Philadelphia Cab Association, tells NBC10 that being a cab driver in Philly isn’t easy or safe.
“It’s a high risk business,” Alvi said.
According to Alvi, just last month, nine cab drivers at All City Taxi were robbed at gunpoint. Last May, Alvi’s friend and co-worker Hafiz Sarfaraz was shot and killed in Cobbs Creek when a man pretending to be a customer tried to rob him.
The incident is one of many that prompted the Philadelphia Parking Authority to propose a measure for the installation of security cameras in taxi cabs.
“If you have a camera, this camera can protect these drivers,” Alvi said.
PPA officials agree.
“We think it’s going to have a very big impact,” said Dennis Weldon of the PPA. “This is something we think will be able to reduce crime, when people know they’re being watched. People who do bad things tend to go to places where they’re not gonna get caught.”
The PPA must get approval from the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission before proceeding. If approved, the new measure will affect 3700 taxi drives and 1600 medallion owners.
“I think with the cameras, it will be a good chance for everybody who gets in the cab,” said Salman Butt, a cab driver. “They will know there is an eye on them.”
A vote will take place Thursday at 10:30 a.m. If approved each camera will cost $1,600 and the medallion owners will be in charge of carrying them. If the measure passes, you’ll start seeing the cameras inside of cabs starting in September.