Saturday, March 13, 2010

NYC Cabbies Took Passengers for Millions

Can you believe it?? It seems New York's Cabbies -- those drivers of the golden NYC icon that I love and adore -- have been bilking passengers out of millions of dollars, according to the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Here are the scheme involved a switch that cabbies flipped on their meters, charging riders pricier out-of-city rates for in-city rides. Here are the stats:
  • It involved at least 1.8 million rides (albeit a teeny portion of the total 360 million rides given)
  • Passengers were ripped off to the tune of $8.3 million
  • Each ride was overcharged by $4 or $5
  • These rides took place over 26 months
But here's what really catches my eye:
  • 36,000 cabbies flipped this switch at least once

What's amazing is that, last time I checked, there were about 48,000 total licensed cab drivers in the city. That means that A FULL 75% OF CABBIES HAVE CHEATED THEIR PASSENGER. And while the empathetic person in me thinks, well I hope that passenger was a real dick and that they deserved it, another part of my thinks, cabbies, you suck.

Granted, only 3,000 did this regularly, but still.

Want to know how this scheme was investigated and solved? Read the article.

Too lazy to read? I'll give you a quick summary. A passenger complained; the TLC checked back records of the infamous GPS system.

The taxi industry denies the claims, on the point that 75% of drivers wouldn't have done this, and that the meter must somehow be at fault.


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