Just what a city of 8.5 million or so people needs: a taxi strike. So I guess we’re down to (a) walking, or (b) taking a jam-packed subway that runs like crap (a 15 minute weekday trip will take you 90 mins on weekends, for example).
The reason behind it all: the cabbies don’t want to have to install GPS tracking devices in their cars. Screw it, they should HAVE to…based on the number of times I’ve been in a car with a NYC cabbie who had no clue where he was going and couldn’t even find Wall Street. WALL STREET!! (Hint, moron: It’s beside the big hole in the ground.)
And if some cabbie is taking an unsuspecting tourist on a joyride, his dispatcher should be able to radio him up and administer a straight up verbal butt chewing. And maybe they can actually learn ENGLISH from the talking GPS system. Think of it as free language training. My friend Tom learned French that way.
And don’t even get me started on the unlicensed “cabbie wannabes” in NYC.
Anyone who arrives in the city via JFK airport will be preyed upon by con artists posing as legitimate taxi drivers. The city-licensed cabs (which charge a $45 flat rate into Manhattan – a law implemented by Rudy Giuliani during his mayoral days, in response to cabbies driving uninitiated tourists all over Hell’s half-acre) are located across the roadway on the arrivals level, giving these vultures plenty of opportunity to pick off unsuspecting travelers.
Earlier this summer, upon arriving back home in NYC via JFK, I passed about a dozen of these guys on the way to the licensed cab line, and ignored all of their pitches for a “special price…80 dollars, just for you”.
Anyway, one guy tried a different tactic. As I walked past him, he yelled, “You racist! You afraid to get in the car with a black man! You racist, lady!”
I dropped my luggage on the sidewalk, walked up to him and said, “Hey idiot, I’m not racist, I’m just cheap.” What? Did he really think I was holding out for for one of the 3 caucasian cabbies in the city?