Many licensed drivers are outnumbered by those who work the same routes but lack permits and insurance. Illegal drivers number in the hundreds since the economy soured.
NEW YORK — Anthony Henry’s commuter van rolled west along Merrick Boulevard in Queens, packed nearly to capacity with nine passengers. It was 6:50 on a Friday morning, and the path ahead of him was clear until suddenly it wasn’t: A van with a wobbly left rear tire, illegally plying the same route, burst in from a side street and barely cleared a car parked at the corner to pull ahead of Henry.
“Look at this guy right there, picking up my passengers,” Mr. Henry, 47, said indignantly, clicking his tongue as the van swooped to the curb and scooped up two waiting commuters. “It’s a war out there.”
War is an overstatement, but it is certainly ugly: tires slashed, windshields shattered, fists thrown, insults hurled and rules ignored as drivers across Queens and Brooklyn fight over fares.
Battlefield tales abound.
VAN BATTLE ARTICLE HERE
Source: The New York Times