Cindy George
Houston Chronicle
April 29, 2008

More than 100 taxis paraded around downtown Houston’s Tranquillity Park today to protest Wednesday’s deadline for all cabdrivers who do business at Houston airports to wear photo IDs.

Starting Wednesday, drivers who seek fares at Bush Intercontinental and Hobby airports must have badges. To get them, cabbies will be required to pass criminal and immigration background checks by the Transportation Security Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Cab industry observers say this is the first such program for cabdrivers in the nation.

The demonstration, which passed in front of the federal courthouse and beside City Hall, came after a federal civil rights lawsuit was filed this morning on behalf of the Houston Drivers Fund, also known as the Houston Taxi Association.

The group represents 700 to 1,000 independent cabdrivers, about 95 percent of whom are minorities, the lawsuit states.

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