Atlanta taxi drivers rally against city's proposed industry overhaul

The city of Atlanta is getting pushback on a proposal to overhaul regulations in the taxicab industry. 

Councilman Byron Amos is sponsoring the legislation that he says has been negotiated for the last 3 years. 

However, many taxi drivers are accusing city leaders of developing the legislation behind closed doors with no taxicab drivers at the table. 

Approximately 150 taxicab drivers stopped everything they were doing to head to City Hall and let the council know they didn't like this proposed legislation. 

"Over 500 taxi drivers did not know anything about this, and it was about to pass without our knowledge," one driver said. 

"You do not have the consensus of the taxi industry or the taxi companies," driver Claude Mayfield exclaimed. 

For just about two hours, dozens of Atlanta taxi drivers told city leaders they oppose the taxi and rideshare legislation authored by the transportation chair, Byron Amos. 

The legislation attempts to level the playing field between taxi and rideshare drivers. 

"When you guys allowed Uber and Lyft to come into the city, what happened to us... in a matter of days? We lost a hundred percent of business," driver Abdi Ahmed declared. 

The legislation would allow taxi drivers to replace their traditional meters with cellphones or computers. 

It would no longer mandate taxis to have the signature dome lights, or be painted a certain color, or even get inspections. 

"All these things they are taking away. Are available at Uber and Lyft. Whoever wants this can go to Uber and Lyft. We are taxi drivers," driver Kehinde Omowumi said. 

"Safety, they feel safe now. If you change the paint for the cars, how do they know who they are riding with?" one driver questioned. 

The criticism was so scathing, council members Marci Overstreet and Antonio Lewis removed their names from the legislation publicly. 

"I move to remove my name," the council woman said to thunderous applause. 

Councilman Amos says the legislation was designed to give taxi operators more flexibility and options. He sent the legislation back to his transportation committee and he vowed to meet with taxi drivers to make changes.