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LaGuardia College Hosts Cabbie Class

NEW YORK (CBS 2) – Students go to college for many reasons and take many different courses, but there's one course at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City that most New Yorkers don't know about.

Taxi School covers the rules of the road for the New York City's thousands of cabbies.

From close quarter etiquette to self-esteem, Taxi and Limousine Commission Instructor Andrew Vollo teaches it all.

"The streets beat them up and if they're not trained properly on how to deal with that, that's more likely to happen," Vollo said.

The students are mostly want-to-be drivers, preparing to take the state's hack license exam, but there are also some veteran cabbies who were sent back for a little remedial work with things like keeping the car clean and traffic rules and regulations.

Vollo, a former cabbie, said there are cabbies that give the rest a bad wrap, which is enough to send some drivers back to class.

"I see many drivers out there that are frightening," Vollo said.

The ultimate goal is to teach the newbies what they're in for, Vollo said, and the long-time drivers how to deal better with an ever-changing profession.

"Doctors have to take a certain amount of courses. They're professionals and I think our mission is to get them to feel and act more professional," Vollo said.

Some students said they have mixed emotions about taking the cabbie crash course.

"What else am I gonna do?" one cabbie asked.

But Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky said as long as they're behind the wheel, they'll also be behind a desk for continuing education.

"The taxis are an emblem of the City's 24-7 scrappy entrepreneurial culture," Yassky said. "That's one of the reasons we want them to have training."

To help with physical discomfort from sitting for 12 hours, the school is also now offering taxi driver yoga.

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