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article imageReport: Taxi drivers overcharged New Yorkers by $8.3 million

By Andrew Moran     Mar 13, 2010 in Business
New York - A new report by the Taxi and Limousine Commission suggests that taxi drivers have overcharged New Yorkers by more than $8.3 million, or $4.45 per ride.
On Friday, the Taxi and Limousine Commission announced that New York passengers in taxicabs have been overcharged by more than $8.3 million over the past two years, or $4.45 per trip, according to the Associated Press. Cabdrivers set their meters at a rate that was predominantly used for trips to the suburbs and the commission said that 1.8 million trips were wrongly charged.
The agency stated that drivers manually switched their meter from the standard rate of 40 cents per fifth of a mile to 80 cents per fifth of a mile rate, which they are allowed to charge in Westchester and Nassau counties but not in New York City, reports the New York Times.
The commission, which has given its finding to the Department of Investigation, said 35,558 of the 48,300 licensed cabs have overcharged their passenger(s) at least once, however, a smaller group of drivers are responsible for the majority of overcharged trips as more than 3,000 taxicabs doubled their meter rate more than 100 times.
“Some of these people could face serious charges. Now, how we would ever recoup the money and get it back to the individual payers, no, but we can stop the practice and we can make sure there's penalties,” said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Within the next two weeks, taxis will have a new system installed in them that would post an alert in the backseat television screen for the passengers to see if a higher rate code has been switched.
The 1.8 million overcharged trips only represents 0.5 per cent of the 361 million taxi trips taken in the last 26 months, when the study was conducted.
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