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Stiffer Penalties Coming For Taxis Who Refuse to Drive to Brooklyn

Mayor Bloomberg to sign a bill increasing fines on yellow taxis refusing to take passengers to their destination

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.

Josh May 12, 2011 at 05:07 PM
Can someone explain to me why taxis don't have GPS systems?
Randy May 12, 2011 at 05:37 PM
This is coming from an administration whose members clearly have no idea what it`s like to drive a cab in this city.Just yesterday there was a shooting in brooklyn.Two weeks ago a kid was shot because he gave another kid a dirty look.This kind of nonsense goes on almost daily in this city.Instead of taking responsibility for what we are not doing as adults&parents in raising our children we penalize cab drivers who work 12-18 hr shifts for taking precautions so they might get home to their families safe.THERE HAS GOT TO BE A BETTER WAY
pat May 12, 2011 at 06:16 PM
Don't drive a cab then. Go to community college and get a degree as a dental hygienist. Yesterday a CAB driver raped a woman at knife point, after she fell asleep in the back seat. She also wanted to get home, possibly to her family. People will be people no matter what, do your job, or quit and find something else to do.
PaultheCabDriver May 12, 2011 at 06:53 PM
Any taxi drivers out there who are just sick of Bloomberg, and the totally tyrannical TLC can feel free to contact me. I own a small taxi company in Phoenix AZ (http://www.paulstaxi.com ) where we don't have foolish laws like this. The cab driver has the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. the cab owners and companies are the ones who set the meter rates and determine how many taxi are on their respective fleets. In fact, it is perfectly legal for cab drivers to be armed. guess what? In Phoenix, we have very few problems with taxis being robbed or shot at. Yes there are problems, but they are far fewer than in other metropolitan areas. The concept is called "Freedom", and it works very well.
J May 13, 2011 at 05:56 AM
There are robberies and murders in manhattan just like Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and SI. Don't become a yellow cab driver if you don't want to drive past the BK bridge. If I, a law abiding paying customer, want to go to Brooklyn, take me to Brooklyn. Just drive me there & shut up. Everyone has an excuse for their bad behaviors in this day & age.
Net Lag Oner May 13, 2011 at 12:06 PM
YAY! Music to my ears. The most dreaded statement to hear when I need to get home "I NO GO BROOKLYN." I completely agree with J. Don't be a driver in the city of New York which consists of 5 thriving boroughs. If you're off-duty fine but don't play this I'll pull up and see where you are going and then decide - or worse- if you're already sitting inside. I've had countless arguments with drivers about this. Either your lights are on and you're on duty or you're not. I'm not negotiating this point with you anymore. Sidebar : Once a cab driver peed in a snapple bottle while he was driving and I was his passenger. There is no relevance to this story except that it was horrific and SO New York. Only here kids...

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