MARYLAND BRIEFING

MARYLAND BRIEFING

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Friday, January 9, 2009

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY

Cabbies Plan Second Day-Long Strike

Prince George's County cabdrivers, who contend that their base fares do not provide a living wage, are planning a day-long strike today for the second time in two weeks.

"This second strike is not something they want to do. They are left with no other alternative," said Tia Gordon, a spokeswoman for the Advancement Project, a civil rights group that is working with drivers.

Gordon said about 400 drivers are expected to participate in a demonstration at the county administration building in Upper Marlboro. The work stoppage is supposed to run from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. The county has about 700 cabdrivers who answer about 5,000 calls a day.

Last month, drivers were told that they could no longer collect a $2 fuel surcharge from their passengers. The change meant base fares in Prince George's county dropped from $3.50 to $1.50, which is less than in surrounding jurisdictions. The base rate is $3 in the District and $4 in Montgomery County.

The drivers want County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) to reinstitute the fuel surcharge by executive order.

John Erzen, a spokesman for Johnson, said the county taxicab board is reviewing the drivers' complaints and is expected to propose legislation this year to the County Council to increase the fares.

-- Ovetta Wiggins

Man, 82, Dies After Head-On Collision

A 82-year-old man died yesterday after a head-on collision in Prince George's County, police said.

Cpl. Erica Johnson, a Prince George's police spokeswoman, said icy conditions were a factor in the 8:23 a.m. crash in the 2100 block of Metzerott Road. More information about the crash was not immediately available.


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