New York City cabbies aren’t all out to take us for a ride.
Posing as a tourist and armed with a British accent, a Daily News reporter put a dozen cab drivers to the test, seeing if they were just after a quick buck or if they would offer a helping hand to a stranger in the city.
A dozen cabs were hailed on Eighth Ave., between 33rd and 34th Sts., and asked to go to Macy’s – just a block away on 34th and Seventh Ave. And half pointed out that hoofing it made more sense than getting a lift.
“No, sweetie, it’s not far, it’s just one block,” one of New York’s friendlier yellow-taxi drivers said.
Hacks have had it rough since the Taxi & Limousine Commission last month accused 35,000 drivers of ripping off customers by setting their meters to a higher rate – only to later admit most had done it accidentally.
In the News’ test, some drivers didn’t quite pass the honesty test, driving the block and happily pocketing the fare.
“Sure, anywhere you want to go,” one of the drivers said, depositing the reporter around the corner a few minutes, and $5, later.
“You want to go there? It’s only a couple of blocks, but I’ll take you,” another remarked.
When asked why they failed to explain that the destination was so close, most said they didn’t think to question and just assumed the passenger didn’t want to walk.
“I thought maybe you were too tired to walk,” one driver said. “It’s just one block, but in New York, sometimes people hail a cab just to go three blocks because they’re just too tired to walk, that’s why I didn’t ask you.”
But six cabbies kindly informed the reporter that walking to the Herald Square landmark could save a few bucks.
“I can take you, but you can walk, it’s just one block,” one said.
Another cabbie even went so far as to accept the fare, but reconsidered while the taxi was stopped at the lights on Eighth Ave. and 34th St.
“You know, it’s just around the corner?” he said, turning off the meter, which already showed $3, and letting the reporter get out without paying a penny.