Hail no! Cabbies refuse boroughs

Trying to catch a cab to Brooklyn? Good luck.

Cabbies who refuse to travel outside Manhattan should think twice.

Mayor Michael Bloom­berg proposed steeper penalties yesterday for hacks who won’t go to the outer boroughs.

More and more drivers are refusing to take passengers to Brooklyn or Queens, the Taxi and Limousine Commission announced yesterday. Last year, outer borough refusals spiked 38 percent.

The new penalties would increase the first offense fine from $200 to $500, and a second offense would bring a $750 fine and 30-day suspension. Third offenses would remain a 36-month suspension.

Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance said the penalties only “scapegoat, punish and give the public a false satisfaction.”

Bloomie’s also trying to bring more cabs to the outer boroughs.

Cabbies are legally required to take passengers anywhere in the five boroughs, but riders say too often that’s not the case.

“At least half refuse to go,” said Brooklynite and professional poker player Colin Clancey, 23.
Brooklyn grad student Sarah Ramsen agreed. “I get in before telling them where I’m going, and then they’ll get lost or try to rip me off.”

By the numbers

Number of refusals by cab drivers to go to outer boroughs:

July-Dec. 2010: 2,341
July-Dec. 2009: 1,693


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