Dulles Airport concessionaire Farouq Massoud's apparent strong-arm tactics against his cabbies are bad enough, but what really distresses me is the possibility of getting into a cab with a driver who has been on duty 18 to 24 hours ["Dulles Cabbies Feel Overcharged; Drivers Plan to Challenge Washington Flyer Concession," front page, Aug. 9]! Why is there no state or federal regulation on the maximum duty times for all aspects of public transportation? Airline pilots (such as myself) and truck drivers are regulated. Why not cab drivers?
Maybe the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority does not seem concerned because the body count is low. Its general counsel, Edward S. Faggen, is quoted as saying, "We haven't seen any evidence of a safety problem." To Mr. Faggen I would ask: Would you feel comfortable putting your wife and children into one of these cabs wondering when the driver last got proper rest?
The airports authority should rethink its position on Mr. Massoud's contract, and the Department of Transportation should look into regulating all operators in our public transportation system.
HOWARD J. MARCUS
For years I have flown in and out of Dulles, and it always amazes me to see the monopolistic grip of the cab company that caters to Dulles. It is inexplicable to me why a publicly funded facility would implement a single-provider contract that eliminates all competition. I wrote former Virginia governor George Allen and the airports authority several times asking for an explanation. I did not receive even a token reply. I am glad to see the issue finally get some press in The Post.
The story reports that Virginia authorities implemented the plan out of fear that no one would provide service without an exclusive contract. This shows the foresight of bureaucrats. The plan as implemented does not work. I have been at Dulles and not been able to get cabs. The only way to get home on those occasions was to take an offer from one of the restricted alternative drivers who sneak around soliciting rides (at better rates).
When I speak to the drivers, they all have the same story: lousy pay, mean boss, never seeing the family, unending hours, etc. Virginia should stop subsidizing monopolies, open up the airport and allow the free market to provide the answer to the problem.