Cabbies Who Hustle Customers Focus of Crackdown at NYC Area Airports

Jan 18, 2019

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NYC area airports saw a huge jump in the number of arrests of hustling cabbies at its airports in 2018 the Port Authority reported on Wednesday. New York’s Kennedy Airport (JFK) saw the biggest spike — up 67% — with 734 arrests while LaGuardia (LGA) recorded 295 arrests. Over at Liberty International (EWR) in Newark police made 142 arrests. If you were one of the record number of people visiting New York in 2018, there is a good chance you might have had an encounter with one of these cabbies.

The New York area has a highly regulated system surrounding its limos, yellow cabs and livery cars and their operations within the boroughs, even more so at airports. Drivers are not allow to solicit rides from passengers at the airport. Passengers can either prearrange rides — with a car service, livery cab, or a ride share like Uber or Lyft — or catch an iconic yellow cab from a taxi stand. Your best bet to ensure you are catching a ride with a licensed driver who is approved and regulated by the city is to grab your bags and head to the taxi stand.

Traffic jam with taxi's in the Manhattan Borough of New York, New York, USA. Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

If someone is offering you a ride inside of the airport, they’re breaking the law, so steer clear of their offer. Yellow cabs, livery cabs and limos have to meet safety and customer service standards set by the city. If you take that offer at baggage claim there is no telling what kind of experience you will have.

Last year, a woman accepted such a ride from a driver claiming to be a livery driver — he wasn’t. He then locked her in the car when she changed her mind about the ride. Luckily, police heard her screams and came to her aid. The key thing here is to remember that drivers are not allowed to solicit passengers at the airport, licensed or not.

If you are flying into New York and haven’t made prior arrangements for your pickup, grab your bags and head to the taxi stand. If you don’t want to have to wait at the taxi stand, prearrange your ride with your favorite rideshare service or book a ride with a licensed livery cab service.

H/T: NY Daily News

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