Re: “White cabbie files bias lawsuit against Portland over permits” (Jan. 2):

I have been following this controversy, and for the life of me I don’t understand how the city came to the decision that all 45 airport permits issued to only Somalian or Iranian drivers did not discriminate against the rest of Portland’s taxi drivers.

Obviously, the city must have overlooked the requirement that a lottery to issue a specialized permit should have been opened to all city taxi drivers interested in participating.

Another part of the problem deals with the ability and integrity of the Somalian drivers. I would like to know if their abilities were examined before the city taxi permits and state driver’s licenses were issued.

I will not ride in their taxis because my experience is that they speed; follow vehicles too close; try to take longer routes to your destination, thus raising the fare; won’t allow service dogs in the vehicles, and charge you extra if you place bags in the trunk.

Timely Taxi has brought the airport permit issue to the city before but was never given any definitive answer on why the city thought that this policy was equitable. Not until Timely Taxi owner Paul McDonough secured legal counsel did the city start to take his request seriously.

Now it seems that the city has no other option than to change the system to allow any city taxi driver wishing to participate in the lottery for airport permits. That’s only fair.

I would like to thank Timely Taxi for bringing this to the public’s attention. Maine needs to be in the forefront of equality for all people in this country. Portland, being Maine’s largest city, needs to lead the way.

James Anderson

Kittery