Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I have a little question for the Taxi and Limousine Commission of NYC. What happens if a Kennedy airport fare hails my cab in Manhattan around 3:00 PM? If I take them, I most definitely will be late to the garage, which strictly requires the cab be brought back by 4:30 PM. If I refuse to take them, they could report me to you.
See, at 3:30 PM (every shift) I switch on my OFF-DUTY lights and head for my garage (in downtown Brooklyn), while slowing to a near stop in front of every street hail to check if they're going downtown (Manhattan or Brooklyn), in which case I'll gladly take them. If I were to start turning on my OFF-DUTY lights at an earlier time, in order to avoid impossible airport fares, I could get in trouble for NOT actually being garage-bound just yet. These are risks we all (cabbies) take, on top of the hundred other risks (and odds) stacked against us.
Avoiding eye contact and pretending not to have seen someone with lots of luggage isn't an option either, especially if they happen to be black (which elevates it from refusal to racism). Also not an option is simply returning to the garage a whole hour or two early. This job is only economically viable if you max out your time and presence on the streets, because the lease rate is steep and fixed. The TLC is good at addressing public concerns, but they leave cabbies as clueless and vulnerable as a herd of cattle standing next to an electric fence. It seems that's the way they want it. Someone please tell me if I'm wrong. I hate to be so cynical and assuming.
My fellow taxi driver and book author, Melissa Plaut, would certainly agree. Check out her fabulous article in the Huffington Post, about how the TLC giving us a bad name is consistently unwarranted.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
The taxi industry vigorously challenged the city’s findings, saying it was unimaginable that such a pervasive problem could be the result of deliberate fraud. “This is clearly a systematic failure on the part of the meters and the technology,” said Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which represents cabbies. “For this to be so widespread — nearly every single driver — makes no sense,” she added.
From Driver Rule 2-50e8 (in PDF):
If the driver has been operating the taxicab for more than eight (8) hours of any continuous twenty-four (24) hour period, then he may refuse to take a passenger to these destinations: Westchester or Nassau County or to Newark Airport.