NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission Cracking Down on Illegal Drivers

Posted on May 14, 2008 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

NEW YORK CITY — The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission is marshaling its forces for the pending crackdown on drivers who illegally stop when hailed – in addition to cabbies who pay kickbacks to hotel doormen to steer tourists into their cars, Commissioner Matthew Daus said. "We're going to be devoting all of our resources for a period of time to do nothing but this," he said. "So we can clear out the central business district of people who shouldn't be there, and who pose a threat to safety and are poaching business from people who legally and lawfully have the right to do it."

Only yellow cabs have the right to stop for passengers when hailed, but with businesses cutting costs by using fewer "black cars" that serve the corporate clientele, drivers are hunting for customers on the street. In the near future, TLC's undercover enforcement officers will pose as passengers and, if the unauthorized cabs pull over when hailed, the drivers will face a $350 fine.

But Daus was less clear about how the agency would crack down on exchanges between drivers and hotel doormen – whom many cabbies claim take $5 or $10 kickbacks to usher hotel guests into unauthorized vehicles. "We're going to be working on a new initiative. . . that is going to take a new angle and new look at the hotel doormen that are steering business to illegal cars," he said.

Yellow-cab driver Jean Pete, 57, from East Flatbush, said: "The black cars even line up at the hotels. We're all glad [for a crackdown] because they're stealing our fares."

In addition to protecting yellow cabbies' rights, Daus said the effort could stop a "worst-case scenario" of chauffeur wannabes with no taxi-driving credentials cruising for unsuspecting fares.

Source: New York Post

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