A taxi driver accused of ripping off over 4,000 passengers told the Taxi and Limousine Commission that drivers get together to dream up new ways to screw over riders. Joseph Kastner is now what is officially known as a snitch, as he described “meetings” in which “a series of drivers … decided to rob the public.” The scummiest of the drivers would even brag about things like charging customers to use the heat, the rat driver explained. This city really is a giant conspiracy to make your day worse. Especially if you’re a tourist.
The New York Post has the exclusive details:
At the cabby conferences, veteran drivers would lecture others how to steal thousands from unsuspecting city customers by using Rate 5 — a flat-fee plan only supposed to be used for areas outside the city, Kastner said.
Other effective cabby scams include:
* Hacks who tack on bridge and tunnel tolls by pressing the meter’s “extra” button.
* Airport scams where livery car drivers will steer travelers in the terminals into their cars and then charge way more than the flat fare of $45 from the airports to Manhattan. Sources said one shark charged a family of four $45 — each.
* Hacking into the meter to stretch the hours when the normal 4-to-8 p.m. $1 peak surcharge is in effect.
More honest drivers sounds about as likely as getting smarter tourists. But while the Commission is at it, how about addressing those goddamn Bluetooth devices? Drivers, look: we won’t barf or screw in the back seat and you stop yapping. Deal?
Taxicab confessions [NYP]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 28, 2010