All drivers are cheats.

March 16, 2010
posted by Jahanzaib at

So this news is all over the place and TLC once again did a wonderful job for blaming almost every working cab driver in NYC for ripping money out of passenger's pockets, In this whole process TLC once again did not forget to remind productivity of GPS system installed in city medallion cabs, over which drivers went on strike, in every incident TLC's main objective seems to keep telling New Yorkers that drivers were wrong and GPS is big benefit to the public, whether it be lost and found items or overcharging matters.

So here is how this new story started, a cabbie was ripping passengers by running meter on out of town rate, one passenger complained and upon pulling his record TLC found that he was doing this for past six months and probably made $40,000 extras than he should have made in this period.

TLC took a further step and pulled out records for past two years for every cab driver and found that about 36,000 out of 48,422 drivers did the same thing and ripped $8.3 millions out of passengers pockets dishonestly. Question is as a cab driver do I believe this?
Not at all and here is my argument, there are 13,357 medallion taxis in NYC and most of them work on two 12 hours shifts accommodating two drivers per day, In Ideal condition there are 26,714 drivers working full time as cab drivers, now some drivers work 6 days or some may work 5 days, on their day offs part time drivers take the seat, lets assume industry accommodates 10,000 part timers and total number of working drivers sums up to around 36,000 drivers. Matter of fact is huge number of license holders do not work as cab drivers but keeping their licenses for some bad times as an opportunity plus there are fleet owners who have to keep their license but are not working drivers, in this situation TLC just told the new yorkers that every single driver is ripping them off, best message that could have been sent to all visitors, well done TLC.

Now lets come to the meter and GPS, first thing is why the meter not automated as it is when drivers take toll bridges and tunnels? What is purpose of GPS connected to the meter if process can't be automated? Taxi meter itself acts weired on times, for example when driver tries to put meter on hire some times it gives you "Con" and in this situation when drivers try to put meter on hire too quick it can jump to rate 2 or rate 3 depending upon how fast driver tried to hire it. But it is not done willfully or on purpose to cheat, it just happens sometimes and then drivers stop the meter and put it on hire again, but in future if TLC decides to come up with statistics it can again tell new yorkers and send message to tourists visiting new yorker and this is how new yorkers treat them, because cab drivers are new yorkers too.

Now after telling all drivers have done it, will TLC take time to actually look into the situation and tell how many of them did it just by mistake and then followed the standard procedure of stopping the meter and putting it on hire again? Basically TLC blamed meter fault onto drivers, even if TLC as it claims have found almost all drivers have done it and made it sound like they did it on purpose, why not now fine them to make big bucks for the city in this hard economic times? TLC wont do that because only purpose I think was to give drivers bad name. In the same article TLC after accusing 36,000 drivers, gave some what real number of cheats to about 3,000 drivers, which is still a huge number almost 5% of total drivers but 36,000 and 3,000 have a huge difference.

Other possible reason can be to stop drivers demanding their rights and raise in wages and not to get people support in this regard because now majority will think they make their money anyway, when in America average income has risen to almost 100% in past twenty years,there was decline in drivers income, current fare rate is cheapest in the nation and car leases are highest in the world. When is TLC going to look into that so even those 3,000 who have done cheating wont do it.

You might want to read about this matter on Taxicab Almanac written by fellow cab driver, and you should because he writes 1000 times better than I do and have full command on English language.

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April 13, 2010  Anonymous Anonymous

You wrote: "...gave some what real number of cheats to about 3,000 drivers, which is still a huge number almost 5% of total drivers..."

If you want people to think your opinion is credible then you should be accurate with the math: if there are 48,422 drivers and they found 3,000 ripping off passengers frequently then that is just under 6.2% not almost 5% as you say.

Around the world taxi drivers cheat customers wherever and whenever they can. In countries where there is less oversight or lax inforcement the problem is pandemic. The more control the less taxi fraud in general. Moreover, it doesn't help when taxi drivers the world over fiercely resist any and all control, oversight and monitoring. Ultimately, it is the government that must force controls upon taxi drivers never the industry itself doing the right thing - always the opposite.

This is why the vast majority of people think that all cabbies are cheats.

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