Good news, GatorUptown.com readers! I’m claiming victories one after another against NYC taxi drivers who refuse to take passengers to destinations outside of Manhattan.
I now have FOUR wins under my belt.
I’ve posted before about the outstanding iPhone app ReportATaxi. It makes the existing process of reporting taxi drivers even easier, and it’s worked flawlessly each of the four times I’ve used it. And each time, JUSTICE.
The first driver to respond to the court summons pleaded guilty without a hearing and took a reduced fine of $150. The second one hired a lawyer and got an extension so that his lawyer would have time to prepare for the hearing…
…and thus had to pay for his lawyer AND pay the $350 fine the judge slapped him with. BOOM!
This, despite his lawyer’s best efforts to interrogate me into contradicting myself or seeming to not remember details of the incident… And also in spite of the driver’s defense that it was his son’s birthday and he was out shopping that day for a present.
The fact that he remembered his son’s birthday as being the wrong day of the week, and that his taxi meter showed he hadn’t switched to “off duty” like he claimed, certainly didn’t help his case. Maybe the driver’s lawyer would have been better off helping him rehearse his story!
The other two drivers both just flat-out didn’t show up at their hearing. So I testified by telephone, answered a few simple questions from the attorney representing the Taxi & Limousine Tribunal, and called it a day. Now the judge has nothing but my testimony to consider, and I’ve gotten very good at sharing the precise details. So both drivers get fines, and I didn’t even have to deal with being cross-examined.
Now, lest you think I’m enjoying this just a little too much, let me stress that I’d rather not have to deal with any of this. You have to be available for a two-hour window to testify, even if by phone, which can be a pain if you work during the day.
And besides, getting a hassle-free taxi home would be preferable to a vindication after being refused… But hopefully these drivers (and any other drivers they may share the story with) will think twice before leaving a hapless commuter on the side of the road next time.