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New Fines For Cabbies Who Break Old Rules

Thursday, May 19, 2011

WNYC

The city approved an increase in fines for cab drivers who break a wide range of rules — from being caught using a cell phone while driving to refusing to accept a credit card.

Fine increases are between $25 and $200 more per infraction. Driving with the taxi doors locked, for instance, used to cost cabbies between $50 and $200. Now, it's a mandatory $400 fine.

"They work very hard, the gas is outrageous, there's traffic all over the city — and you want to raise the fine? The way it is, it’s too high," said Vincent Sapone, director of the League of Mutual Taxi Owners, during a Taxi and Limousine Commission hearing Thursday.

But drivers who plead guilty to breaking a rule in advance will pay a lesser penalty and won't have to go before a TLC judge.

TLC Commissioner David Yassky, who said some fines haven't been increased in decades, thinks drivers would welcome an opportunity not to miss work.

But Bill Lindauer, of Taxi Worker's Alliance, said "even if a driver is innocent he figures, 'They might find me guilty anyway, so I might was well plead guilty and pay the lesser fine.' But that's not true justice."

The new fines are expected to go into effect by August.

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Comments [1]

Leslie Freudenheim from nyc

How about a story on poorly designed NYC busses and how they could be better? For example:
1.Design busses low to ground so there is no beep beep beep waking sleeping New Yorkers all night while busses “kneel.” (The beeps wake me through triple pane glass.)
2.Design front doors wide enough to allow entry and exit simultaneously as in London and Berlin. This would save time now wasted waiting for people to exit before new passengers can get on.
3.Design back doors to be wide enough to allow several people to enter, (see Easy-pass idea below) and leave simultaneously.
4.At the very least design back doors so they open wide and stay open at the push of a button as in London, Berlin, Paris.
5.It’s ridiculous to ask New Yorkers to exit by the rear door because:
a)Most of the time the rear door won’t open when you touch the yellow strip.
b)Even if you get the door open, it won’t stay open long enough to get out carrying a baby or groceries.
c)Morever, if you get the door open it opens just a bit; not enough to let several people exit simultaneously and it closes before the person behind you can get out.
d)NYC Busses are often so crowded one can’t get to the back door.
Wheelchair and Baby Carriage Access
It’s ridiculous to hold up many passengers while the driver stops the bus to lock a wheelchair into place when the wheelchair can lock himself in place as in Berlin and London. Therefore:
6. Design back doors to open with a ramp for wheelchairs, carriages when needed, as in Berlin. (Driver does not leave his seat.)
7. Change bus design so that baby carriages and wheelchairs have space to “park” themselves opposite the back door as in Berlin and London.
8. Another advantage, the Berlin and London systems allow persons in wheelchairs to enter and exit without needing a 2nd person to assist them.
Fare collection, Two Ideas:
Ask the Easy-pass system technicians to figure out how individuals could use Easy-pass to pay for bus rides; and/or ask mobile phone makers to figure out how we could pay in advance on our cell phones. Either of these systems would have these advantages:
a) No printing costs for tickets
b) Less trash (used tickets) to pick up
c) Easy-pass holders or mobile phone users who pay in advance might enter the back door as well as the front door, if doors were designed to accommodate them, speeding up time wasted at each stop.
d) It might be even better/cheaper to run than the oyster card system for which MTA has to print cards.
One problem Easy-pass or mobile phone techies would have to overcome: how to pinpoint a non-payer & collect the fare. I’m not a techie but I’ll bet these things could be overcome and save time and money.
Bloomberg might want to call such busses the "Bloomberg bus" and leave this wonderful legacy to NYkers.

May. 19 2011 06:01 PM

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