Travelers visiting Santa Monica will rejoice at hearing they will no longer have to put up with higher cab fares and poor services anymore, as hotel doormen are banned from asking for bribes or “cookies” from taxi drivers in order to direct hotel guests to them. Although and old scheme (or contractual agreement in some cases) that has kept hotel doormen happy and taxis willing to pay busy, the cookies have been officially banned by Santa Monica authorities.
While the practice has been forbidden on March 1st, authorities are currently investigating allegations that doormen of luxury hotels in Santa Monica are still favoring big-fare taxi drivers in exchange for the customary bribe. The practice has been replaced with a new taxi franchise system, but the 10% percent doormen have been used to seems to still hold a powerful attraction.
Hotel managers state “cookies” are no longer demanded and guests are currently receiving better taxi services since luxury venues have started working with the taxi companies with franchises.
“If drivers are willing to come to us we’ll speak with them and are happy to address anything that is wrong,” said Wolfgang Jonas, general manager of the Fairmont-Miramar Hotel. “So far this hasn’t come up.”
After talking to hotel managers to remind them of the new regulations, city authorities are taking the allegations seriously. That is why Santa Monica police will make sure the new rules are enforced starting this month.