Cabbie Call-In: Taxi Overcharge Scam

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Details of the $8million taxicab overcharge swindle continue to emerge, so we want to hear from cabbies themselves.

How widespread of a problem is this? Are you willing to admit to overcharging? Care to defend the practice or atone for the indiscretions? Call in or comment below!

Comments [32]

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Apr. 27 2014 03:32 AM

A vital difference (that is not talked about) is the difference between day taxi drivers and night taxi drivers. If the data ever comes out on all of these foul trips, I would love to see when most of it happened. Were any of the passengers drunk and passed out on these long fares? The night drivers are entirely different animals.

And I was surprised to hear WNYC use information from the Post. That paper seems to sensationalize stories. But, what do I know I'm just a cab driver; I only use the Post when I need to support my back when driving.

You should have asked the driver who admitted his wrongs to donate all of the money to WNYC; didn't you just have a fundraiser/drive?

Mar. 22 2010 05:13 PM
Lori from brooklyn

Cab driver apology was a Great Radio Moment -made my day.

This is why I listen: Brian is a skilled and humble interlocutor- and he gets the gold!

Mar. 20 2010 10:22 AM

It is unfair to paint 35,000 taxi drivers with the same stroke. In ANY business or industry there are ALWAYS a few bad apples.
I spent my Sunday at LaGuardia and Kennedy speaking with scores of yellow taxi drivers.
First, one meter(6500 taxis use) has the RATE 4 button located at the extreme left, closest to the driver with the button used at the end of every fare, RIGHT NEXT TO IT.
I know that once in a while, as a driver goes to shut off the meter at the destination, occasionally he hits the RATE4 button causing the fare to register as a RATE4 but WITHOUT ANY ADDITIONAL COST!!!

Mar. 18 2010 08:32 AM
Muhammad from Bronx. NY

I'm a New York City driver and make honest living by working hard, yes few people might have cheated the system but mostly it happens by mistake, and it happens when driver is suppose to turn the meter off, instead of pressing stop button sometimes rate button get tapped as they are very close and I'm going to post a video about this, In these situation it doesn't cost a cent to the passenger but receipt will read Naussau-West and rate 4, because process can not be reversed on the meter.
To read about this in detail and possible reason why the hell TLC blamed 36,000 drivers please read

Mar. 18 2010 03:56 AM
Called Civilized from

Agree David 18

Mar. 17 2010 11:26 AM
a. g. from hudson county nj

sorry,david is #18 not 17

Mar. 17 2010 11:17 AM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

Joke of the day -

Brian is outraged at the theft of an estimated $8mil by cab drivers, but doesn't care about the billions of dollars of unfunded mandates the Democrat heath care bill fraud and disaster will impose on the people of NYS. Brian and WNYC have become boot lickers to the likes of a closet Commie and America hater like Tony Weiner, a boot licker of another strip.

It is a disgrace and a shame at how far Brian and WNYC have fallen. Shame Brian shame. You have fallen far from you best days here and even from your NBC days.

PS 1 - Brian you ignored a bigger scandal, one cabbie said he has to pay the doormen at major hotels to get fares, otherwise they give them to [freelancing] "black-cars." This has racial implications, too as the make-up of the drivers of the respective fleets are significantly different.

PS 2 - One day you should take a citizen call or two for Weiner on health care. You have let him propagandize this issue since the whole pending financial and social disaster began.

PS 3 - You should also ask Tony how his pending "marriage" to a woman who is of fundimental Islamic faith and political positions affects his true feelings and support of Israel. Many believe that he is no longer a true friend of Israel.

Mar. 17 2010 11:16 AM
a. g. from hudson county nj

to david # 17, would gitmo be too good for them? i sure as heck would not want to hang with you buddy...............

Mar. 17 2010 11:12 AM
Steve from Brooklyn

Having taken cabs all over the world, I can say that NYC cabbies are the best in terms of fair prices and minimal scamming even with this controversy. Have you ever taken a cab in Asia? Have you ever taken a cab in Baltimore? I've had a series of B-more cabbies claim their meters are broken and then invent prices? It could be much worse.

Mar. 17 2010 11:05 AM
Jeffrey from Upper West Side

The taxi meters should say on the display "city rate" or "country rate" so the passenger can see what rate is being charged. Even a tourist would question a "country rate" if driving in the city. And the posted rules should explain which fares apply in different circumstances.

Mar. 17 2010 11:04 AM
Johnny from Queens, Elmhurst, NY

Brian.. Brian.. Brian,

You are either deliberately twisting the date or naively doing so. The Cab driver reports are finding that only 1,000 cab drivers are the real culprits... the 35,000 cab drivers you mention as guilty... you are accusing them even though the report says that they are not sure if the other 35,000 cab drivers are definitely guilty or if it is a fault of the GPS. YOu have to remember, this is the first time GPS is being used this way so they are saying the other 35,000 cb drivers might be a GPS error. But you ignore than and inflate the issue. Secondly, I find that you do this A LOT!!! You, in the past, have attacked working class individuals, because the liberal bourgeoisie does this a lot... to me, you are more of a fake liberal and more of a conservative because of that. Most cab drivers are immigrants who don't speak English, they don't even have an Union, so it is easy to demonize them since they can't even defend themselves. Good job, Brian Lehrer. Keep aligning yourself with the liberal bourgeoisie, you might as well join the Tea Party cause there is no difference between the bourgeoisie and conservatives. You are skewing the facts to attack a whole group of working class citizens... just the same way you skew so many things about Fidel Castro and Cuba. The upper-middle class white man's bourgeois way.

Mar. 17 2010 11:04 AM

They should use the gps function. Once the vehicle location is outside city limits then the increased fare rate should kick in.

Mar. 17 2010 11:01 AM
Steve from clifton, nj


Sure, the cab drivers took advantage, but the Great Grand Theft was on yesterdays program: Wall St., The Banks, and that continues ...

Mar. 17 2010 10:59 AM
David UWS

Every single one of these cab drivers admitting over the phone that they ripped us off should be fired immediately and face time in jail.

Say goodbye to your tips, you scumbags.

Apology not accepted.

Mar. 17 2010 10:59 AM
Bob from Manhattan

Between this and the deadly driving habits of cabbies, I'm comfortable calling them one of the banes of New York City.

Mar. 17 2010 10:59 AM
Bradley from Brooklyn

I think this is really a beautiful moment for radio and new york city. To call and apologize. I have hope.

Mar. 17 2010 10:59 AM
Richard Johnston from Upper west side

Au contraire, if the GPS system knows where the cab is, why can it not switch the meter to the higher rate when the cab enters a higher-fare zone?

Mar. 17 2010 10:58 AM
Mark from NYC

Is there a way we as riders can check the meter for which fare zone we are being charged? Is it something that is easily visible?

Mar. 17 2010 10:56 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Cabbies also:
Routinely refuse to go to the Outer Boroughs
Deliberately take longer routs to pump up the fare
Refuse to take passengers with packages/luggage they don’t want to deal with
Click off duty to avoid certain passengers
And there are other examples. Not saying being a cabbie isn’t a tough job, but the examples above is far more common than a million dollar violin being returned in a highly publicized human interest story.

Mar. 17 2010 10:56 AM
Maria from New York, NY

I can't help but wonder if this is an attempt from the city or the MTA to get more people to take less cabs, more buses, trains....

Mar. 17 2010 10:56 AM
bent from new york

the louder you yell, the less you have to say...

Mar. 17 2010 10:55 AM
Dale from Brooklyn

I think this may have happened to me one time. Because I remember seeing a rate of something other than "1", when I was just staying in town. But normally I pay with cash.

Mar. 17 2010 10:54 AM
Opinionsmuch from

Now that we have THAT solved let's solve that pesky Israel Problem!

Mar. 17 2010 10:54 AM
Merrill from NY,NY

I think the way to stop it is if the magic suburban button is pushed, it is clearly reflected on the receipt.

Mar. 17 2010 10:53 AM
Andrea Sandvig from Midtown, NYC

I have never been the victim of this scam. I take cabs frequently and find almost all the drivers honest. My routes are generally the same and I know how much the fare should be. When the fare is higher it is because of some easily seen reason - traffic... I tip generously as Cabbies have a dangerous yet boring job, they deserve to make a good living.I was scammed once, a cabbie somehow charged my credit card twice - my bank quickly sorted that one out.

Mar. 17 2010 10:53 AM from UWS

This has been going on for years !!!
8 million? More like 80 million !

Mar. 17 2010 10:53 AM
Marco from New York

Lousy, overpriced service. No surprise that there is widespread corruption.

Mar. 17 2010 10:52 AM

Now after we resolve this problem we'll take care of The Israel Problem. Right?

Mar. 17 2010 10:52 AM
Robert from Park Slope

Who was the genius who created a meter that allowed the standard fare to be overridden with the push of a button? Did the City / TLC think that it would not be abused?

Mar. 17 2010 10:51 AM
Richard Johnston from Upper west side

Each of the instances HAS cost $5, not HAVE. The subject of the sentence is "each."

Mar. 17 2010 10:49 AM
a. g. from hudson county nj

cheating is not cool.but neither is the income disparity between these hard working guys and some of their smug self-righteous riders.
btw-the TLC spokes people i've seen on t.v.,don't strike me as anything other than a bunch of elitist cretans,who derive a perverse pleasure out of demeaning these folk who don't usually share a common surname.

Mar. 17 2010 10:21 AM

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