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Thread: New York Taxi

  1. #406

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYatKNIGHT View Post
    Not talking on a cell phone is a rule for a good reason - because it puts me, other drivers, and pedestrians in serious danger. They aren't, nor is any driver, paying as close attention as they would be otherwise. In the end it usually amounts to me not getting to my destination as fast as I should.
    I've said it before, I don't care for cab drivers who are constantly talking on the phone. It is unprofessional and dangerous. Any passenger who is not comfortable with a cab driver talking on cell phone should tell him to hang up or get out and take another one.. These days it is not that difficult to find a cab..

  2. #407
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    On lower Boradway they have recently instituted a Bus Only lane. Cops hang out and pull over taxis right and left during morning rush hour -- handing out tickets like candy. They often let private cars speed by in the Bus Only lane. But down here taxis are targeted for tickets. The yelling and screaming that sometimes ensues can be comical (but not so much so at 7:30 AM).

  3. #408
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Might be more productive if they weren't always in the same spot at the same time, but I'm glad. I don't mean to be a prick about it - if a cab driver turned and asked me if I minded if he made a quick call I'd say of course not - even though I do mind a little, at least he asked, so whatever. But as mc said above, it's those that talk constantly that drive me insane. For instance I've seen them get in the wrong lane or behind a stopping bus - rookie moves - only to notice what they did too late. It's like, thanks man, now we're waiting at another red light when you could have gotten through it if only you were paying attention.

    But what really got me so hung up on this was this one time when I was in my car at a red light on Houston St. and was suddenly rear-ended by a cab.
    He actually got out of his car to check my crumpled bumper while still on his cell phone.

    These are the streets of New York City not some country lane, you need your brain working on all of your driving skills. Someone paying for a ride deserves that much.

  4. #409

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYatKNIGHT View Post
    Someone paying for a ride deserves that much.
    ...and then some...

  5. #410

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    They often let private cars speed by in the Bus Only lane. But down here taxis are targeted for tickets.
    That's true for Broadway and many other spots where cops wait for offenders, often cabs not private cars.. 34th street bus lanes is another big one. DOT Commissioner came out and said cabs are allowed expeditious pick up and drop offs in the bus lanes but try to explain that to the Cop or the Judge...... This is why I never take Broadway below Houston and 34th street crosstown...............

  6. #411

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    ... My emails telling me there have been new posts on this thread but I can't seem to get to the newest page. The last page I can reachis pg 28. Can anyone can tell me why this is happening?......

  7. #412

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    Could they have been deleted?.. even though they don't look like foul posts?.. Man, am I confused on this one..)

  8. #413

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    Probably spam that has since been moved.

  9. #414

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    In that case, good riddance...) Thanks Alonzo..

  10. #415

    Thumbs up

    Six Taxi Dispatchers at JFK Airport were arrested for making honest cabbies wait much longer than they would have.



    DISTRICT ATTORNEY
    QUEENS COUNTY
    125-01 QUEENS BOULEVARD
    KEW GARDENS, NEW YORK 11415-1568
    718-286-6000
    RICHARD A. BROWN
    DISTRICT ATTORNEY
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: QDA (718-286-6315)
    MONDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2009
    PORT AUTHORITY IG (212-435-7777)
    TLC (212-676-1013)
    GATEWAY GROUP (201-841-0827)
    SIX AIRPORT TAXI DISPATCHERS CHARGED IN UNDERCOVER STING OPERATION Allegedly Received Bribes To Let Taxi Drivers Skip Holding Area Waiting Lines At JFK And Go Directly to Terminals and Make Passenger Pick-Ups.
    Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, joined by Port Authority (“PA”) Inspector General Robert E. Van Etten, New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (“TLC”)Commissioner Matthew W. Daus, and Gateway Frontlines Services, announced today that six airport taxi dispatchers at John F. Kennedy International Airport have been charged with accepting cash payments from taxi drivers who wanted to go directly to terminals to pick up passengers instead of to the central taxi holding area where drivers often wait up to three hours or more before being moved to the terminals. The investigation is continuing and more arrests are expected.
    District Attorney Brown said, “The bribery scam in which the defendants were allegedly involved allowed taxi drivers to basically ‘cut the line’ and get ahead of honest drivers waiting their turn for passengers. Through the alleged bribes paid each time amounted to only a few dollars, on busy days, thousands of cabs pass through JFK’s terminals during an eight-hour shift – giving a dishonest dispatcher the opportunity to illegally make hundreds of dollars on a daily basis.” PA Inspector General Van Etten said, “I want to thank District Attorney Brown, Commissioner Daus, and Gateway for a successful collaboration in ferreting out this corrupt scheme. These defendants took unfair advantage of a dispatching process that was created to provide a level playing field for all cab drivers.
    This should serve as a deterrent to those working and visiting all Port Authority facilities that playing the system will not be tolerated.”
    TLC Commissioner Daus said, “Taxicab drivers work hard enough to earn a living without being prey to unscrupulous dispatchers soliciting bribes and tempting them with the prospect of unfairly jumping ahead of their fellow drivers. I am justifiably proud of the TLC’s significant role in the teamwork that went into this investigation and the resulting arrests, and I believe this sends a very positive message to taxi drivers that their voices are heard loud and clear when they have concerns and problems.”
    John Hook, Director of Compliance & Professional Standards for Gateway Frontline Services, said, “Gateway Frontline Services has a long track record of managing service delivery to aviation passengers in
    the NY/NJ region with excellence. We hold in high esteem the paramount values of integrity and ethics. Our commitment to these values is evident in our continuous internal quality assurance audits. We are privileged
    to have worked with the offices of the Queens District Attorney, the Port Authority of NY and NJ Inspector General and the Port Authority Police Department as a critical partner in this joint investigation which culminated in the arrest of six taxi dispatchers.”
    Taxi dispatchers are responsible for regulating the movement of taxis from the central taxi holding pen to each of the terminal taxi pick-up areas at JFK Airport. The average wait in the holding area is approximately two to three hours, after which time the taxis are summoned as needed for incoming flights from the holding area to terminal pick-up in the order that they arrived. Upon exiting the holding pen, each taxi driver is issued a “dispatch ticket,” on which is printed the taxi’s medallion number, as well as the date and time of their exiting the holding area.
    On April 6, 2009, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission expanded a program in which drivers of medallion taxicabs receive Short Haul (“shorty”) tickets for rides to local destinations close
    to the airport to include destinations in the Five Towns area of Nassau County. The shorty ticket allows
    drivers to bypass the holding area and go directly to the terminal pick-up for their next fare. Drivers are not allowed to pay for shorty tickets nor are dispatchers permitted to sell them.
    The alleged taxi dispatcher scheme was uncovered in May 2009 when several medallion cab drivers became suspicious and notified the Taxi and Limousine Commission. After a preliminary review, the TLC notified the Port Authority Inspector General’s Office and the Queens District Attorney’s Rackets Bureau. Thereafter the District Attorney’s Office and the Port Authority Inspector General’s Office began an investigation into the bribery scheme. In May through August of this year investigators conducted field
    operations, including the use of confidential informants, visual observations, surveillance, and recorded conversations, as well as multiple “sting operations” by an undercover Port Authority police detective.
    During this same time period, in keeping with their own business practice standards, Gateway Frontline Services – the Port Authority subcontractor which employs the dispatchers – also noticed aberrations and conducted their own internal compliance audit and investigation. Gateway’s own corporate investigators made observations of illegal activity and promptly terminated certain dispatchers not in compliance with corporate standards and assisted law enforcement in obtaining evidence to be used in
    criminal prosecution of the defendants.
    According to the criminal charges, the six defendants accepted cash payment of five to ten dollars from undercover drivers on multiple occasions between May and July 2009 in exchanging for providing
    them with shorty tickets.
    The defendants are charged with second-degree commercial bribe receiving, official misconduct and
    receiving unlawful gratuities, all of which are Class A misdemeanors. If convicted, the defendants each face
    up to two years in jail. (See Addendum for details on the defendants).
    The investigation was conducted by Detective Steve Poulos and Investigator Arthur Maisano of the
    Port Authority Inspector General’s Office, under the supervision of Deputy Inspector General Michael
    Nestor, and with the assistance of Deputy Commissioner of Uniformed Services Pansy Mullings of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission and Ira Goldstein, Chief of Staff to New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission/Chair Matthew W. Daus, with the assistance of Gateway Frontline Services Director of Compliance and Professional Standards John Hook.

    Assistant District Attorneys Catherine C. Kane, Chief of the District Attorney’s Airport
    Investigations Unit, and Hana Kim are prosecuting the cases under the supervision of Assistant District
    Attorney Gerard A. Brave, Chief of the District Attorney’s Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau, and
    Assistant District Attorney Mark Katz, Deputy Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive
    Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Peter A. Crusco and Deputy Executive Assistant District
    Attorney Linda M. Cantoni.
    It should be noted that criminal charges are merely accusations and that defendants are presumed
    innocent until prove guilty.
    #
    Note to Editors: Press release e-version posted on www.queensda.org
    ADDENDUM
    The six defendants are:
    GREGORY ARCHER, 32, of 803 Vermont Street in Brooklyn. He has been employed as a dispatcher for
    two years.
    JULIO HERNANDEZ, 42, of 95-64 113 Street in South Richmond Hill, Queens. He has been employed
    as a dispatcher for one and a half years.
    DENNIS HUMPHREY, 46, of 116-16 198 Street in St. Albans, Queens. He has been employed as a
    dispatcher for three years.
    KEITHON PIPPINS, 29, of 314 East Clinton Street in Roosevelt, Long Island. He has been employed as
    a dispatcher, employed one year;
    JACQUELINE RUSSELL, 48, of 178 Highland Boulevard in Brooklyn. She has been employed as a
    dispatcher for one and a half years.
    RHEA WHITE, 26, of 209-39 112 Road in Queens Village, Queens. She has been employed as a dispatcher
    for two and a half years.
    #

  11. #416
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    New York’s Cabbies Like Credit Cards? Go Figure

    By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

    New York’s cabbies howled when the city began forcing them to take credit cards. Some even went on strike, calling the requirements a kowtow to tourists and a burden on drivers.

    But two years later, the back-of-the-cab swipe has emerged as an unlikely savior for New York’s taxi industry, even as other cities’ fleets struggle to find fares in a deep recession.

    Overall ridership and revenue have increased. More and more fares are being paid with credit cards, even for shorter rides. And tips for drivers, usually an early casualty of tough times, are up sharply, double over the pre-plastic days.

    Even cabbies are conceding that credit cards are good for business. “It’s better,” said Naveed Shah, 35, a driver for five years, as he gassed up his Ford Crown Victoria recently. “If there was no credit card, people aren’t going to take taxicabs.”

    Other major cities are now rushing to follow suit. Although New York was late to bring credit cards to cabs, it leapfrogged ahead by pioneering a customer-friendly system that required no signed receipts, no minimum payment and an interactive device that let passengers swipe the card and add tips themselves.

    In Los Angeles, for instance, credit card machines are often in the front seat, forcing riders to hand their cards to the driver. Business this year is off about 15 percent, according to fleet owners, mirroring national trends in the industry.

    In New York, however, revenues have risen about 13 percent from the end of last year, according to data collected by the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission. And tips, which hovered around 10 percent when cab rides were cash only, averaged 22 percent on credit-card transactions this fall.

    “Credit cards helped the New York industry stay stable in a time when the rest of the for-hire industry was in significant decline,” said Alfred LaGasse, chief executive officer of the Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association, a national trade group.

    Taxi fleets in Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas and the suburbs of Washington are all beginning to experiment with back-seat card readers similar to those in New York, Mr. LaGasse said.

    Once considered a convenient payment method for longer trips, often to the area’s airports, credit cards are now being used for shorter, cheaper rides, the type of $5 rainy-day indulgences that were once handled exclusively with cash.

    Amos Tamam, president of VeriFone Transportation Systems, whose card readers are in 6,700 cabs, or about half of the city’s fleet, said his company’s average credit-card fare is now less than $15, down from $16 a year ago.

    “The more usage you get with credit cards, the lower the average ticket is going to go,” Mr. Tamam said.

    Passengers said that paying with credit cards has become second nature. “Any time I take a cab, I pay with a card, on the advice of my accountant,” said Michelin Hall of Manhattan, after swiping his American Express card in a taxi outside Pennsylvania Station the other day. Mr. Hall said that with cards, “it’s easy to track the receipts, it can tell you how long the cab ride was and where you went” — convenient information when he files expenses for his job in marketing.

    The increase in tips, however, may have less to do with New Yorkers’ generosity than with the preset amounts suggested to passengers on the taxi’s software systems. In many of the city’s cabs, riders are offered options for their tip depending on the length of the ride. For fares under $15, a screen prompts tips of $2, $3 or $4; the numbers can range from 15 percent to 30 percent for higher fares. The presets are used about 70 percent of the time, according to industry estimates.

    New York’s success seemed unlikely a year ago, when the last of the city’s 13,000 cabs were outfitted with credit-card readers, part of an initiative started in 2007 by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. The city was reeling from a maelstrom on Wall Street that disproportionately affected the high-income industries that drive the New York economy.

    And riders were still reporting unpleasant run-ins with drivers who refused to accept the cards or pressured customers to pay with cash, a resentment left over from a two-day strike in September 2007 that forced officials to institute an ad-hoc system for shared rides.

    But in 2008, taxi officials began noticing a trend: Cab business was staying steady, and credit card use was on the rise.

    At the end of last year, about one-fifth of cab rides were being paid for with a card. That portion has grown steadily this year, reaching 28 percent in September, the latest month for which data was available. Meanwhile, black-car business has fallen about 30 percent, as companies encourage employees to use corporate credit cards to expense cheaper yellow-cab rides.

    “It’s becoming a way of life in the taxi world,” said Matthew W. Daus, New York’s taxi commissioner. “New Yorkers are getting more accustomed to going around without cash. We think it’s a good thing.”

    In interviews, drivers acknowledged that business had improved, but still groused about the credit card machines. The higher tips are tempered by a 5 percent service fee applied to fares that are paid with plastic. Drivers must also wait anywhere from a day to a week to retrieve their fare money paid by credit cards, and they said the machines occasionally break down, resulting in lost fares.

    “Because of credit cards we get customers, that’s true,” said Muhammed Hamid, 35, of Queens. “But if they give us cash, you can put the gas on that; you don’t have to wait three, four days.”

    Told of the statistics that showed higher tips, some drivers scoffed. “I know that’s not true,” said William Lindauer, a driver and coordinating member of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. “They get no tips, or less tips.”

    A random survey suggested otherwise. Several drivers were asked to share their credit receipts after their shifts. Of 20 receipts reviewed, the average tip came out to just over 18 percent. The preset tip amounts were used more than half the time, resulting in a $5.30 ride getting a tip of $2, or about 38 percent.

    It may be difficult, however, for other cities to recreate New York’s success. “Not all agencies in other cities have the same tools, manpower and budget to do what New York City did,” said Mr. Tamam of VeriFone. And New York’s fleet, the largest in the country, has a bigger customer base that can help justify the high cost of installing more advanced credit card technology.

    Some drivers suggested, paradoxically, that the recession itself may be prompting greater credit card use. Simon Palade, a driver for more than 40 years, said he sees far more cash fares around the first of the month, when paychecks are often issued.

    “After that it slows down and they’ve got to use plastic more and more,” Mr. Palade, 59, of Sunnyside, Queens, said the other day, as he navigated a Central Park transverse. “People don’t got no money. They’re banking on the future.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/nyregion/08taxi.html

  12. #417

    Talking

    Everything in this article was predicted by some.))

  13. #418

    Default Forget 311 - A new way to locate lost property

    My friend and I have developed www.nyctaxifinder.com to help people who have lost personal items in New York City taxicabs. Just enter the cab's license/medallion number and you will have access to detailed information about that cab, including in many cases, the dispatcher's telephone number. It's free!

  14. #419

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    Quote Originally Posted by taxifinder View Post
    My friend and I have developed www.nyctaxifinder.com to help people who have lost personal items in New York City taxicabs. Just enter the cab's license/medallion number and you will have access to detailed information about that cab, including in many cases, the dispatcher's telephone number. It's free!
    I doubt it!!!....

  15. #420

    Default Why not try it first?

    This was something that my friend and I developed to help people with missing belongings. Why not try it first, then knock it?
    Last edited by taxifinder; December 2nd, 2009 at 12:08 AM.

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