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.