Bloomberg Rips Cabbies Who Refuse to Accept Riders

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The city is further cracking down on taxis that refuse to drive outside of Manhattan with a proposal for steeper fines and possibly revoking the license of repeat offenders. Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday said such "geographic discrimination" is unacceptable and on the rise.

Under the new proposal, the city would issue a $500 fine for the first offense, a $750 fine and a 30-day suspension of the driver's license for a second offense within 24 months of the previous offense. A third offense would result in loss of TLC license.

"It doesn't matter which borough you are coming from or which borough you're going to, if you want to hail a cab, New York City cab drivers are required by law to take you to any destination in the city," Bloomberg said. "Without argument, pure and simple."

The Taxi and Limousine Commission has been creating undercover videos using Baruch college students posing as passengers hailing taxis to locations outside of Manhattan.

In one video, the student asks for a ride to Liberty Ave. and Lefferts Blvd. in Queens, and is flatly refused. He asks the taxi driver if he has a map, and the driver speeds off.

The mayor was joined by TLC chairman David Yassky and City Council Transportation Committee Chair James Vacca, who is sponsoring the legislation. Yassky and Bloomberg said the number of cab refusals is on the rise and that when it occurs passengers should call 311 and report the medallion number of the driver.

The TLC currently has 100 enforcement agents ensuring city taxi drivers are obeying the rules. Yassky warned drivers that "if you turn down a fare that may well be a TLC enforcement agent."

Licensed taxi drivers are required to carry a map of the city, but not a GPS.

Watch the city's undercover video below.


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Comments [3]

ken from Manhattan

I don't understand...just get in the cab and then tell them where you want to go!!! Why are these people asking? just GET IN THE CAB.

Mar. 09 2011 09:52 PM
Layne from New York, NY

Did you know that NY cab drivers are not legally allowed to have a GPS on the dashboard or the windshield? As a cab driver, I have to hide my GPS and break it out when I get a fare that's going someplace I don't know so I don't get a ticket! How backwards is this? I'm not excusing the fare refusals, but the TLC needs to change this rule if it wants cabbies to readily accept passengers heading to the far reaches of the boroughs.

Mar. 09 2011 08:43 PM

This legislation is badly needed. On my last two visits to New York, I was unsuccessful at getting a cab to take me to Brooklyn. I also had a hard time hailing a cab to take me anywhere in the city between 5 and 6:30. I was travelling with a friend who has cancer from Sloan Kettering hospital to West 34th street and 7th Ave. We had to take the subway and walk with our luggage. It left me very sour on NYC to the point that I cancelled a follow-up get-a-way planned for just a few weeks later.

Mar. 09 2011 04:20 PM

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