Kathleen Horan, Reporter, WNYC News
Kathleen Horan is a staff reporter for New York Public Radio, covering the neighborhood beat. She also reports 'Reset', an ongoing series documenting police-community relations in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
The City's Taxi and Limousine Commission has postponed its vote on changing the dress code for taxi drivers until next month.
The TLC is seeking to alter the taxi guidelines by including the term 'professional appearance' in the official language.
Commissioner David Yassky attempted to reassure cabbies at a hearing Thursday that the rule would not prohibit ethnic or religious clothing. He said is simply a reminder that they’re not only drivers, but city ambassadors.
"We're not going to have the fashion police out all over the city, but we're sending a message to drivers that appearance is important," Yassky said.
Cab drivers worry that that the rule would be difficult to enforce because it is general and open to interpretation.
Bhairavi Desai of the Taxi Workers Alliance argued the commission has misplaced priorities and instead should consider that most drivers don't have health insurance and struggle to pay for gas and daily leases.
"Change the conditions that turn the job into a real profession, before you talk about the attire being professional," said Desai.
The current rule specifies that cabbies not dress in tank or tube tops. It also prohibits wearing swimsuits behind the wheel.
The commission is expected to vote on the dress code by the end of January.