City Hall has created a hotline customers can use to report on the performance of taxi cab companies recently awarded franchises by the City Council.

A taxi franchise system was adopted by the council in 2009 that limited the number of cab companies operating in Santa Monica to five.

The motivation behind the move was to cut down on the high number of cab companies operating in the city, and in turn cut down on carbon emissions, reduce traffic Downtown, better regulate fares and increase wages for drivers, city officials said.

Many taxi cab operators criticized the plan and lobbied for the council to expand the number of franchises, saying customers would be left with fewer choices, longer waits and higher prices. A group of Armenian cab drivers sued City Hall, claiming discrimination. That lawsuit is still pending.

The franchised companies are:

• Bell Cab Company: (888) 481-2345

• Independent Taxi Owners Association: (800) 521-8294

• Metro Cab Company: (310) 444-7777

• Taxi! Taxi!: (310) 444-4444

• Yellow Cab Company: (877) 733-3305

The taxi hotline is (310) 458-CAB4 (2224).

— Daily Press


School district seeks Malibu residents

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Financial Oversight Committee currently has one vacancy and is looking for a Malibu resident to fill it. The right candidate will be able to bring some depth of business and/or financial expertise to the committee.

Application forms are available at

The deadline for applications is Friday, April 29, 2011. They can be mailed to the district office (1651 16th St., Santa Monica, Calif., 90404), faxed (310. 581.1138), or scanned and e-mailed to 

Committee meetings are currently scheduled once a month at the district office at 7 p.m. in the Testing Room.

— DP


Check those smoke alarms

As residents spring forward this Sunday, the Santa Monica Fire Department would like everyone to take a minute to check smoke alarms to be sure they are working properly.

Fire officials said smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of a home, including the basement. Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.

Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button. Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10 year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested, fire officials said.

You can learn more about fire and life safety by visiting

— DP

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