There's been quite a few undercover video stings recently, like when Mayor Bloomberg sent undercover investigators to a gun show in Arizona to show how easy it was to purchase a gun, or when Eric Adams did the same to prove a point about magazine loopholes.
This time, however, it's not guns but cabs that are target -- namely, those cabbies who refuse a ride to would-be passengers.
The video shows a man hailing down cabs and asking to go somewhere in Queens. The drivers smile uncomfortably or claim not to have a GPS or map, and speed away. This, Mayor Bloomberg says, is illegal.
"We are a city of five boroughs - and it doesn't matter which borough you are coming from or which borough you're going to - if you want to hail a cab, drivers are required by law to take you to any destination in the city. Period. End of story," he said in a statement condemning the actions of nay-saying cab drivers.
Bloomberg held a press conference with Taxi Limousine Commissioner David Yassky to drive home the point that the administration wants to ensure all New Yorkers a ride when needed. Last month they announced legislation to increase the fines for cabbies who deny fares. The statement released by the city today gives more insight into the sting and law:
The videos were taken by Taxi and Limousine Commission "Secret Shoppers," who are part of the commission's ongoing efforts to crack down on illegal taxi refusals. New York City cab drivers are required by Local Law to take a passenger to any destination within the five boroughs, or to destinations in Nassau and Westchester Counties, and to Newark Airport. The requirement is also part of the contract that drivers agree to when they are licensed and it's clearly written in the Taxicab Rider Bill of Rights, which is available through Passenger Information Monitors in the backseat of every cab.