As the Taxi & Limousine Commission works to bring more taxis to areas outside of Manhattan, the city is upping the penalty it levies on cabbies who refuse fares. According to a report in The Post, fines will jump to $500 for first-time offenders while a second offense carries a $750 fine and a 30-day suspension. A third conviction will result in a mandatory revocation of a license.
Over the last year, New Yorkers have either been confronted with ruder cabbies or are fighting back. The Commission says complaints over service refusals — especially to Outer Borough destinations — have increased 38 percent over the past year. “A core component of taxi service is that the passenger chooses where to go in the five boroughs,” T&LC Chair David Yassky said. “Unfortunately, it is getting to be like the bad old days when taxis wouldn’t go to Brooklyn. I strongly encourage taxi riders to call 311 each and every time they are denied service.”
Taxis are an integral part of the city’s transportation picture, and it has long been against T&LC rules to deny passengers service to any part of the five boroughs. Still, cabbies are often loath to take the trips, and some can be downright nasty. This fine increase, still to be approved by the City Council, is a welcome one.