Jenna Flanagan has been an Associate Producer and contributing reporter for WNYC's All Things Considered, local news since 2006. Prior to that, she worked for 3 years as a general assignment reporter for the WBGO news department and won a Garden State Association of Black Journalists award.
City Council Passes Bill to Make Taxi Fare Refusal Worthy of a Fine
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Taxi drivers who refuse to take fares to the outer boroughs may soon find themselves paying hefty fines or even having their license revoked.
The City Council passed a bill Wednesday increasing penalties up to $500 on a first offense and up to $1,000 on the second if its within two years. A third offense could be grounds to lose a license for 30-days.
David Pollak, executive director of the committee for Taxi Safety, is in favor of the legislation and said he thinks expereinced drivers know, 'You win a few and you loose a few.'
But Bhairavi Desai with the Taxi Workers Alliance said fare refusals are an economic issue and the focus should be on wage increases for drivers and alternatives like rush-hour group rides.
"When they (drivers) complete these fares, you know they take a hit," she said, "especially when you pay for high gas prices and a high lease."
The bill heads to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is expected to sign it. It would go into effect immediately.