San Diego Cab Drivers Angry About Being Graded On Their Smell

Some cab drivers are PO’d about a test being applied to their BO. If they are determined to smell “bad” they are not allowed to pick up another customer until they change their clothes. This policy could put the pine tree air freshener industry out of business.

Cab drivers in San Diego get out of thier cars to air themselves out.

The San Diego International Airport has a 52 point check system that it applies to cab drivers and their vehicles who service the airport. Such mundane bureaucratic checks include proof of drivers insurance, and windshield wiper and brake inspections. You know, the kind of thing to make sure humans who travel to San Diego aren’t being picked up by some random guy in a white windowless van claiming to be a “taxi,” but who is really part of an international human trafficking ring kidnaping tourists. – and to make sure that the cab’s tire treads are adequate.

This would be awesome if this were what the smell checks looked like.

So what’s wrong with also doing a little smell check? Maybe they just want to make sure the cabs at the airport don’t smell like a hoarder’s basement full of dead cats. On a side note, if you are ever traveling to Sacramento, California I recommend you call this guy. He looks like he smells- like a party!

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Taxi Dave is not part of that human trafficking ring I mentioned earlier.

The United Taxi Workers of San Diego union feels that the smell test perpetuates the stereotype that all cab drivers smell bad. Especially considering that at least 94 percent of drivers are immigrants with 65 percent coming from East Africa. Also there isn’t really a clear way that inspectors smell the cab drivers. Sometimes it might just be the car, or as one Ethiopian driver put it

“If they want to bring their smell detector, they can use it to test the customers and the drivers.”

That’s right! What if a customer who just got off of a six hour plane ride smells and their stink rubs off on the cab driver!? All this time you thought cab drivers smelled, but it was really the passenger’s stench rubbing off on the drivers! That could be it. OR; If you are paying thirty dollars for a ride to your hotel and you get in a taxi that smells like it just drove through Kirstie Alley’s colon because the guy driving hasn’t showered since George Bush was president, maybe you have a right to be upset? This is ‘Merica, and let’s all take a shower, yeah?

You sniffin’ me? (Sorry, had to.)

To be fair, other airports around the country have a “smell test” for their cab drivers. In fact, the test in San Diego has been going on for years, yet an official at the taxi drivers union recently noticed the smell check and local media reported on it last week. So is it really fair to make… a big stink about this?
What is the worst thing you have ever smelled getting into a taxi cab?

Rancid Meat


Dog Piss

Dead Body

Also: Living in Los Angeles you start to notice things about classic TV shows from when you were a kid: In the intro for The Fresh Prince of Bel Air he gets in the smelly “fresh” cab in front of the Hollywood sign. Anyone who has been to LA will recognize this was shot at Griffith Park. So did the Fresh Prince take a tour of the Griffith Park Observatory before he went to Uncle Phil’s house? Was the cab driver sitting there waiting for him at the park, having first driven him from the airport? These questions demand answers.

We certainly know this was a stinker;

Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney