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City Council Bill Hikes Fines On Taxi Drivers Who Refuse Passengers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- New York City taxi drivers who refuse to take passengers to their requested destination will soon be slapped with increased fines.

The City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that increases those penalties.

It also raises fines for cab drivers who ask passengers where they are going before the get into the cab.

WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reports: Christine Quinn Has A Stern Message For "Bad Apples"


City law requires yellow taxi drivers to take passengers anywhere within the city's five boroughs.

Under the bill, drivers will be fined from $350 to $500 for a first offense. If they get caught within the next two years, they face a $1,000 fine, double the current fine.

A third offense calls for a $1,000, plus license revocation.

"We want to make sure that New Yorkers know when they stick their hands out to hail a cab, regardless of their race, their gender, their disability, their sexual orientation, regardless of where they're going, regardless of anything like that, they're going to get picked up, they're going to get driven and they're not going to get overcharged," Speaker Christine Quinn said.

Passengers who have any issues are urged to take down the number on the cab light or license plate and call 311 to report it.

"I hope cabbies who are breaking the law, and it's a few, but nonetheless, I hope those bad apples are really shaking in their boots -- or shaking in their driver's seat, if you will, as a result of this bill," Quinn said. "We're not kidding around."

A spokeswoman for the drivers says she's disappointed in the vote.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to sign the measure on Monday.

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