New Yorkers Behaving Like New Yorkers
Against the greed and lawlessness of the Transport Workers Union, NYC taxi drivers stand in stark contrast. They're making good money today by picking up the slack, but not only are they not gouging, they're not even charging the maximum fares prescribed by today's special strike contingency zone-based fare system.
According to a spokesman for the city's Office of Emergency Management's joint information center, the caps set by a city are just that – caps. Drivers may choose to charge less, and riders may negotiate a lower fare.
"We're hearing for short hops drivers are charging less," he said.
That certainly seemed to be the case for Raheel Baig, a commuter from Brooklyn. Normally a ride from Brooklyn to Columbus Circle could cost $20 or more, and even under the new city limits the driver could have charged him $20. But Baig only paid a flat $10 with no tip. So did the other three passengers in his cab.
For the same amount and no tip, a woman named Fadwa got a ride from 42nd Street to 58th Street -- a mere 16 blocks. She made a point of expressing her support for the strikers and said her fellow taxi passengers felt the same way.
One commuter, an artist who has a booth set up at an outdoor holiday market at Columbus Circle, said there seemed to be a greater sense of community among commuters and cab drivers as a result of the strike. Her driver used his meter and charged her the normal fare for her ride from 14th Street.
Terry Walker, who hailed a ride from lower Manhattan said he just chose to give the driver $20 and expressed his support both for the transit strikers and the cab drivers. Under the city's zoning rules, he would have only been charged $15.
Meanwhile, a Time Warner employee said he paid $5 for a 10-block ride, less than the $10 the taxi driver was allowed to charge him.
Handcrafted by Flip on December 20, 2005 |
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