Port Authority Continues to Address Hustler Problem

Posted on October 1, 1995 by LCT staff

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, backed by two new laws and an anti-hustling program, have been aggressive­ly working to reduce the num­ber of illegal transportation op­erators and improve airport environments and customer service and safety.

Under the new laws, illegal transportation operators face minimum fines of $100 in New York and $500 in New Jersey for a first offense. In each state, subsequent convictions could gamer a fine as high as $ 1,500, or jail sentences.

"We're trying to make [the fines] more than just the cost of doing business," says Fred Baer, manager of the Offices of Ground Transportation for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. "These laws specifically cite solicitation of ground transportation service at the airport as its own separate offense, whereas before we would have to use other offenses and make them lit. Now, we feel we have a much better weapon for lighting the problem."

Since the implementation of the new laws, officials report over 600 arrests have been made at the three major airports — LaGuardia, Kennedy, and Newark.

George J. Marlin, the Port Au­thority executive director, notes that it is important to make air­ports sale for travelers. Eliminating transportation hustlers is vital to making a visitor's first impression a positive one.

The Port Authority also works towards educating visitors before they are approached by illegal ground transportation hustlers. In­flight videos containing informa­tion about the airport and its legit­imate services arc regularly shown on international flights, and a video for domestic flights has also been produced.

A popular poster campaign has effectively worked to make visitors aware of illegal transportation hustlers. "An indication that these posters are working is that they're always being torn down," says Baer.

According to Baer, a num­ber of posters have been used, but the current version has had the most impact. They are placed in various locations throughout the airport, in­cluding the bathrooms, which has proven to be one of the most effective spots. Other airports have requested copies of the poster to assist in their own efforts.

"We know the problem per­sists, but there are indications that activity is down," says Baer. "We try to educate visi­tors while they are in the air and on the ground. We do see lots of people walking past the hustlers and ignoring them."

A popular poster campaign has been effective in making visitors aware of illegal transportation hustlers. “An indication that these posters are working is that they’re always being torn down.” Say Fred Baer, manager of the Offices of the Ground Transportation for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Anti-Hustling Legislation in New York & New Jersey
Fines New York Jail Potential New Jersey Jail Potential
1st Offense $100-$250 15 days $500-$1,000 
30 days
2nd Offense $250-$1,000 30 days $750-$1,500 
90 days
3rd and subsequent offenses $750-$1,500 45 days $750-$1,500 
90 days
Other Penalties license suspension for 60 days on second offense; misdemeanor on 3rd offense   NONE  


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