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Santa Rosa police begin crackdown on unlicensed cabs

Taxi drivers beware: no sticker, no service.

Santa Rosa police are rolling out the last step in a long process toward regulating cabs in the city.

Starting Saturday, officers are on the prowl for drivers and cab companies flouting the rules.

"If you don't have a sticker or a permit visible in the back window of your cab, be expected to be stopped by a police officer and cited," Lt. Jerry Soares said.

Eleven taxi companies have so far jumped through all the hoops required to be properly franchised, licensed, insuranced, inspected and drug-tested.

"I'm glad it's finally happening," A-C Taxi owner Kevin Kroh said.

The 16-car A-C Taxi was among the first to pass muster, followed by Checker Cab, Economy Taxi, Fine Taxi, George's Cab, Grace Taxi, Manny's Taxi, Makda Taxi, Safe Ride Santa Rosa Taxi, Sky is the Limit Taxi and Yellow Cab.

The Santa Rosa City Council adopted the ordinance in June 2011 and it went into effect shortly thereafter.

But officers did not enforce the ordinance rules right away.

"We were allowing this grace period to give those who wanted to operate a fair chance to comply with regulations of the ordinance," Soares said.

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