Outer-fare taxi scares

This cabbie would take us, but others refused Metro’s requests for a ride to the Bronx.

Cabbies refusing to go to the outer boroughs has gotten so extreme that it’s left one man with a fractured skull after police said a taxi driver ran him over in a dispute.

Anthony Loreto, 22, is in critical but stable condition at New York-Presbyterian Hospital; taxi driver Mohammed Azam, 27, plowed into him and his three friends early Sunday, according to police.

The fight began after Loreto and his friends demanded a ride home to the Bronx, and Azam refused.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently proposed harsher fines for drivers avoiding outer boroughs. Yesterday City Councilman James Vacca called it a "systemic problem.”

But some cabbies say they’re getting a bad rap.

Driver Ruslan Ivanov, 34, said he’s happy to go to the Bronx — on the weekend. “There’s no traffic,” he said. Otherwise, congestion’s so bad, “You lose money.”

Lesly Pierre, a taxi dispatcher at Penn Station, said cabs turn down customers around rush hour — when they’re almost done with a shift. “They can’t go far.”

Azam was arraigned yesterday on assault charges.



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