TLC Finds Cabbies Overcharged By $1.1 Million

New review shows cabbies scammed their passengers

By Andrew Siff
|  Friday, May 14, 2010  |  Updated 9:09 PM EDT
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TLC Finds Cabbies Overcharged By $1.1 Million

Taxi meters show a "4" in the left corner, as seen here, when the out-of-town rate is on.

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With the push of a button, taxi drivers got extra cash.

And now, the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission says a full audit of 361 million rides found that more than 286,000 trips were tainted. 

"A significant number of drivers used ‘Rate Code 4’ as a means of surreptitiously padding their pockets and taking advantage of a trusting public," says TLC Commissioner David Yassky. "We will be taking appropriate actions to see that these drivers do not again have the opportunity to betray their passengers and their fellow drivers.”

Rate Code 4 is the method of changing a taxi's meter from the setting within five boroughs to the "out of town" rate -- which is significantly more expensive.

The new review comes after a report earlier this spring uncovered the overcharging epidemic.

But Yassky made sure to single out the honest hacks.

"The majority of our taxi drivers do a great job, exhibiting the integrity that we expect and demand of our licensees," he said.

The TLC used GPS and other technology to track the abuses. The agency says some drivers overcharged the public more than 1,000 times.

Violators could face heavy fines and possibly lose their medallions.

In all, the public paid more than $1 million that it shouldn't have over the past few months.


 

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