NYC shows videos in push for cabs to accept riders

March 9, 2011 3:16:10 PM PST
Video was released today by Mayor Bloomberg showing taxi drivers refusing fares because they didn't' know where they were going.

In the undercover videos, cabbies first say they can't figure out how to find a location in an outer borough.

The cabbie is heard saying that he didn't have a GPS to find his way.

Then, they simply refuse to take each passenger.

Mayor Bloomberg and other city officials say it has to stop and that maybe it will stop if they double the fines against drivers who do this.

"New York City cab drivers are required by law to take you to any destination in the city. Period, end of story," said Bloomberg.

The threat of these refusals becoming even more real this past weekend when three men were refused a ride from Manhattan to the Bronx even after cops ordered the cabbie to take them.

One of them is now in critical condition with a fractured skull after they say the cabbie hit him.

"Many people have come forth to me, since the incident, and told me, that this is too commonplace in the city," said Council member James Vacca.

In fact they say there were just over 2,000 reports of taxi refusals during fiscal year 2009, whereas during this past fiscal year there were nearly 3,000, an increase of more than 36 percent.

Meanwhile, the cabbies insist the few who break the rules do it out of economic necessity.

"Drivers are not big corporations. They're hard working individuals with families to feed," said Bhairavi Desai.

The TLC wants drivers to pay $500 for a first offense. It's proposing a $750 fine for a second offense within two years.

That would raise the fines from up to $350 for a first offense and up to $500 for a second offense.