A few months ago, the Taxi and Limousine Commission discovered that thousands of cabbies had been charging vulnerable, trusting passengers the higher out-of-town rate for intra-city trips. Over 500 taxi drivers pulled off the scheme more than 50 times, and 88 did it over 500 times. Now, finally, the worst offenders are beginning to be brought to justice. Sweet, sweet justice.
The first batch of taxi drivers accused of charging unsuspecting passengers the double-fare suburban rate while inside city limits have been found guilty by city administrative-law judges, officials said yesterday.
Ha, awesome, nail those bastards.
Hmmm, all right, sure. And then what? Oh, wait, that’s … that’s it?
Excuse our lust for vengeance, but this seems way too lenient. Take the case of Michael John, the worst of the six, who pulled the rate scheme 570 times over the course of eighteen months. Each time, it cost his riders, on average, $4 or $5 per trip. Even using the lower-end estimate, $4, that means John stole around $2,280 in this brief time span. And he has to pay back $850? Also, we’re no criminal-justice experts, but if a guy in another business — say, banking — had been systematically stealing thousands of dollars from his customers, he’d probably be charged with a crime, not merely asked to return a portion of his pilfered bounty and find a different job. For some reason, though, if you carry out your thievery while sitting in the front seat of a yellow-painted car, it’s not considered a serious offense.