Santa Monica Sets Public Hearing for Taxi Franchises

SANTA MONICA–For the last several months, the City Council of Santa Monica has been considering which taxicab companies will be allowed to operate within its bounds. The issue has become a source of controversy and protest, especially among Armenian taxi companies who say the selection process has been discriminatory and unfair, the Armenian Youth Federation reported on its website Wednesday.

Displeasure over the process arose in late June, when city administrators released a recommendation listing five companies they suggested be given the sole right to operate in Santa Monica. Out of these five companies, only two were locally-based and none Armenian owned or operated—in a city where the majority of taxi drivers and the plurality of companies which applied for the franchise are Armenian.

Several Armenian companies joined together to stage protests against the recommendation. Meanwhile, on October 12, ANCA-WR and AYF representatives were on hand with Armenian taxi drivers for a City Council meeting where a procedural motion on the issue was considered. The Council heard remarks from the public and set aside November 9th as the date of a public hearing solely dedicated to this matter.

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  1. mike said:

    Good to hear Armenians helping each other we need to stand by each other. The AYF and ARF need to get involved more within the Armenian American community. This is a good sign.

  2. Stephan said:

    The AYF and the ANC are certainly looking after our community’s interests and their efforts should be applauded. Clearly on its face Santa Monica City officials appear to be discriminating against the Armenian owned companies. The ball is in there court to explain the obvious appearance of bias in denying every single Armenian owned taxi company the right to do business in the City. If they cannot reasonably justify their actions they must re evaluate all the franchise awards and re- start the process in a transparent and unbias way.
    The alternative is a call for an investigation by the State Attorney General office and/or civil actions to be brought by the victimized Armenian owners.