NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police are descending on New York area airports to put the brakes on fake cabbies who claim to offer bargains, but are likely a ripoff.
Many travelers have been getting repeatedly hassled by drivers offering car services, but these are not legit cab, limo or ride-share drivers, reports CBS2’s Dave Carlin.
“Why can’t the airport regulate that a little better?” said David Bennet, a businessman in from Dallas who says he’s seen little improvement.
For years hidden camera investigations have shown “hustler drivers” cruising and aggressively soliciting people, with mixed results.
“Since I’ve never been here, I definitely would never jump in and go with a random person,” said Valerie Terry of Louisville, Ky.
Others are pressured into taking rides that wind up over-charging them and putting their lives at risk.
Ride-share and cab drivers who say that they follow the rules welcome the tough new crackdown, but they hope it goes far enough.
“They’re ripping off people left and right,” said Manoj Kumar of Richmond Hill.
It seems you could easily identify them just from what they’re doing, so why do we still get it every single time though the airport?
“It’s very lucrative for someone to come here and do these illegal fares,” said Charles O’Connor. “We’re going to request legislative action to increase the fines and penalties… By hitting people in the wallet, absolutely.”
The addition of more undercover enforcement officers is not a new promise, but it’s right on the heels of a man with many previous solicitation arrests who was caught after leading officers on a chase.
Rooting out repeat offenders is the main thrust of this effort at LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark airports. Last year there were nearly 700 solicitation arrests at LaGuardia and Kennedy, and the goal is to push to double that number for 2018.