TLC Sting Operation Proves Cabbies Still Don't Want to Go to Brooklyn

In the latest sting operation against the dreaded "cabbies who won't go to Brooklyn," the TLC hired college students for $10 an hour to pose as regular old taxi riders and hail cabs with a request to go to the outer boroughs. Since September, 1,330 cabs have been hailed, and 361 refused to take the kids where they wanted to go, which means the average rate of failure here is 27%. One of the undercover riders, who said he's been turned down about 70 times, said, "They would say, 'I'm sorry,' and give me a lot of excuses." (Fortunately, there were no reports of anyone yelling, "Get the fuck out! I'll break your face!")

In another test of the system, TLC agents had found that drivers would refuse to go where they were asked about 4% of the time, which is why they got college students to participate in the latest effort (they thought drivers were recognizing the TLC agents).

The drivers busted now face fines for their refusal to go to Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and northern Manhattan. The TLC repeats:

"Our rules are crystal clear: a taxi passenger is entitled to go to any of the five boroughs," TLC Chairman David Yassky said. "Our enforcement initiative is designed to make sure drivers understand that there will be a penalty for refusing service. "

The fine, as we've written previously, is now $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for the second offense in two years. Why is this all so difficult?

Related: 15 Things Cabbies Have Done to Avoid Going to Brooklyn

TLC hires college students for sting on cabbies for refusing rides to outer boroughs [NYDN]

[JDoll / @thisisjendoll

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Maybe fares to Brooklyn and other boroughs should reflect the economic reality that the driver is not going to get a return fare, and will have to drive the equivalent of a $20 or $30 ride back to Manhattan for free, instead of expecting cab-drivers to subsidize the cheaper cost of living in the outer boroughs? (And effectively having Manhattanite cab-riders subsidize the cost of cab service to the outer boroughs?) Why is this all so difficult?


*Only* 27% of the time? Going from Midtown to Park Slope every once in a while and at non-middle-of-the-night hours, I get turned down easily 75% of the time. Not that I let that stop me. 

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