Coming soon are stiffer penalties on yellow cab drivers that refuse to pick up passengers based on their destinations.
The bill passed yesterday and will be signed by Mayor Bloomberg in 30 days.
"It doesn't matter which borough you're coming from or which borough you're going to, New York City cab drivers are required by law to take you anywhere in the city," Bloomberg said at a news conference at City Hall in March. "Every person who puts a hand in the air to hail a cab deserves to be treated the same."
Between July and December 2009, passengers reported 1,963 incidents of taxi drivers flat-out refusing to carry them to their destination. Complaints jumped 38 percent, to 2,341 incidents, during that same time period in 2010, according to the New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission.
“New York City consists of five boroughs, not just Manhattan, and taxis are required to provide service to any destination in the City," said TLC Commissioner and Chair David Yassky. "These tougher penalties will be a valuable tool for our enforcement efforts.”
It is illegal for a yellow cab driver to refuse to take passenger from Manhattan to any other place in the five boroughs. Drivers are required to have a map inside their cab at all times and are trained to use them in-route planning.
The requirement is also part of the contract that drivers agree to when they are licensed, clearly written in the Taxicab Rider Bill of Rights, which is available through Passenger Information Monitors in the backseat of every cab.
The current penalties are a range fine from $200-$350 for a first offense, upon conviction, a fine of $350-$400 for a second offense within 24 months and a possible 30-day suspension, and mandatory license revocation for a third offense within 36 months.
Passengers should report illegal refusals by noting the taxi’s medallion number, the time and place of the incident and then calling 311.