News & Politics

The Three Truths of Taxi Transportation


You can’t win, no matter who you are. This is how being in a taxi now works.

1. Drivers have it terrible. Drivers are gauged for their medallions, their lease rates, when customers run credit card charges, during gas price hikes, and are utterly dependent on any number of varying conditions that could completely screw their routine to hell. Even worse, they have to deal with any number of awful New Yorkers or New York Tourists expecting their yellow chariot to know exactly where their customer is going, how fast they want to get there (answer: Never fast enough), how they’d like to be driven there (never smoothly enough), and to intuit which way they’d like to go, assuming they do, in fact, know where they’re going. They’re also legally obligated to let customers tell them what to do and it’s a technical work obligation that they can’t really refuse business based on the fact that the guy who looks like they’re going to kill them, especially after he tells them he wants to go to a part of Brooklyn nobody’s ever heard of. Literally: Nobody. Also, everything is their fault, literally, as drivers in New York are always liable for any accidents with pedestrians. Taxis are moving targets.

2. Customers have it terrible. Hacks hate them, hacks scream into the phone and don’t feel like listening to them, hacks’ cabs smell, are dirty, are never around when you need one, won’t take you to Brooklyn, won’t take you if they don’t feel secure about picking you up (even though they’re legally obligated to), and now, are scamming their customers. Also, now, they’re trying to con customers, who will never get money back from the giant con that was perpetrated on them. Sorry.

3. The taxi bosses are universally hated. This is the truth, no matter what they do, because they can never do a good job, because they’re a government agency overseeing a bunch of independent contractors who basically run monopolies on public transportation and run those monopolies off of indentured, overworked servants. The New York Taxi and Limousine commission is a mob regulatory board. Which probably has something to do with the reason Matthew W. Daus is quitting his gig, and never looking back. At a recent public hearing, he was told that he was disgraceful, despicable, and that his drivers would like to poison him. Why?

Because he implicated them in a scam that forces them to disclose whenever they’re changing the rates on a taxi so they don’t con the customers, which they do because they’re underpaid. Taxis: We can live with them, we could probably live without ’em, but we choose to keep them around because people enjoy going places fast without putting much effort behind it. Or because they’re masochists.


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