TLC vows to hit ‘few bad apples’ hard, but singles out only 67 out of more than 50,000 hacks as major repeat offenders

NEW YORK CITY cabbies are even purer than Ivory Soap.

The Taxi & Limousine Commission has identified just 67 yellow cab drivers who may have charged passengers bogus bridge and tunnel tolls 10 or more times, the agency said Tuesday — a stunningly low rate in a city with 50,000 licensed hacks licensed by the agency.

The agency’s review of 90 million trips over a six-month period found that only 1,350 were suspicious, said spokesman Allan Fromberg — an infinitesimal dishonesty rate far better than the famous 99 44/100% pure soap.

But the city isn’t satisfied.

“There are a few bad apples in every profession, and the taxi system is no exception,” TLC Chairman David Yassky said. “Fortunately, we (can) zero in on small problems before they potentially become bigger, and to make sure that drivers who do engage in misconduct receive swift and appropriate punishment.”

The TLC launched the probe earlier this year after a rider’s complaint led to a startling discovery. In his first year on the road, a new cabbie from Queens overcharged more than 270 riders with phantom tolls, padding the metered fares by $620.

Councilman James Vacca (D-Bronx) said he remains concerned about overcharging and is introducing a bill Wednesday that would require the city to restore fare rate decals, which were removed earlier this summer.

“If there are drivers willing to skirt the system with the fare already on the door, how easy will it be for drivers to dupe unsuspecting passengers now that the fare decal is gone?” said Councilman James Vacca, chairman of the Transportation Committee. “Transparency trumps aesthetics, and the passenger must come first.”

pdonohue@nydailynews.com

Category: Blog, New York City

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