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Taxi drivers protest at Hilton Anaheim Hotel

October 14, 2010 |  2:57 pm

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Dozens of taxi drivers staged a protest Thursday outside the Hilton Anaheim Hotel to dispute what they view as the establishment’s unfair practice of barring certain taxi companies from picking up guests at the hotel.

Bill Gray, manager of an Anaheim taxi franchise company, said there were three taxicab franchises allowed to operate in Anaheim, and the franchise agreement states that these companies are allowed to do business in resort and non-resort areas.

But the Hilton would only allow drivers from Yellow Cab of Greater Orange County to line up in front of the property to pick up guests while drivers from A Taxi Cab and California Yellow Cab were being prevented from stopping there, according to Gray.

“The Hilton is violating the franchise in addition to depriving drivers of convention traffic through the monopoly of business,” Gray said.

A representative in the sales and marketing office of the hotel said no one was available for comment and declined to offer any details about the hotel’s relationship with area taxi companies.

Gray said the drivers were particularly upset because there was a small convention taking place at the convention center, and visitors would typically walk over to the hotel to catch a cab.

Gray said that during conventions there was usually plenty of business to go around for the area’s taxi drivers. In fact, guests would often flag down taxis, whose drivers are not allowed to stop at the hotel.

Gray said Hilton officials had so far been unwilling to negotiate and their action would ultimately be bad for business.

“It degrades the image of the Anaheim Convention Center,” Gray said.

Further protests were planned, Gray and some taxi drivers said.

-- Ann M. Simmons

Photo: Drivers with Anaheim's A Taxi Cab, including Abdul Gul, 50, of Garden Grove, center, protest in front of the Hilton hotel at the Anaheim Convention Center. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

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