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      Officials hope cab drivers will rev up Columbia TMs image

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Michael Horger of Party Cab can get visitors to the Midlands from point A to point B in a hurry. He can also tell you where to eat and what to do, but not everyone is like Horger.

      Most of the cab drivers around here spend seven days-a-week, 12 hours-a-day driving, so they don't really know where to eat or what to do, Horger says.

      If a series of regulations on the City of Columbia TMs more than 300 cabs is passed by council, all passengers will get the same treatment no matter who they're riding with.

      One of the changes would require cab drivers to enroll in a one-day hospitality training course provided free of charge by the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports and Tourism.

      The curriculum isn TMt set yet. It will be something we work into them having the time to take the training, according CEO Ric Luber of Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports and Tourism.

      Luber adds the class will not only benefit the cab drivers in terms of tips, businesses could move into the fast-lane with the help of cabbies.

      Other proposals for consideration by council include, drivers not being allowed to use a hand-held mobile device or smoke in their vehicles. They also must follow a dress code and pass routine drug tests.

      The recommendations were brought to us by the industry itself, so wasn TMt that the city just thought it was time to regulate, said Councilman Sam Davis.

      Davis thinks the changes are a win-win for all involved.

      Officials have been working on these changes for several months and the revisions are expected to be voted on later this month.