NEW ORLEANS -- For the past month all New Orleans cabs up for inspection have been required to have a credit card machine and security cameras, and they must be less than 10 years old.
But many drivers say that Mayor Mitch Landrieu is asking for too much too soon, and hundreds stayed home Tuesday to voice their protest.
"He seems like he's dumping the world on us, all of a sudden, knowing that we can't get ready for it in the amount of time he says," said Sam Porter of White Fleet.
Normally, this cab stand would be lined with taxis, but as you can see, Tuesday it's empty because of the informal strike. Now hotels around the CBD report a similar lack of activity, but other cab companies not participating in the strike have been picking up the slack.
Other drivers are welcoming the reforms and questioning the strike.
"It's not going to change City Hall's mind," said cab drive Andre Strumer. "It's good for the city to bring the taxis of New Orleans up to the standards of the other metropolitan areas of America."
Sheree Kerner, whose family has been in the taxi business since 1940, said she launched her new company Nawlins Cab in response to the city's reforms.
Not only are the brand new cabs better for customers, Kerner said, they're also better for drivers.
"The first driver that rolled out picked up a fare and the first thing they told him was this was the best cab he'd ever rode in, and he ended up getting a $20 tip," Kerner said. Other than a shortage of cabs at the airport, no major disruptions were reported Tuesday.
But the disgruntled drivers say they are planning additional protests, so we'll be keeping an eye on this story as it develops.