As New York struggled with the fish is at airports
If you put in a search of the newspaper New York Times, the phrase "taxi hustlers", then in return you get a big list of articles telling how cynically and shamelessly New York taxi drivers are cheating their passengers for many years. The history of the city to fight this evil is quite fascinating and instructive.
Just two decades ago, the New York airports and railway stations were universally infected with the plague, and the situation was very similar to Russia's current when the output does not give you pass the crowd of men turbid appearance, wanting to take you anywhere for an obscene amount of money.
For many years, New York City taxi drivers to deal with all the same, what their current Russian-crooks colleagues - catch passengers at the exit from the airport or station and fraudulently lured into one of their cars, a trip which cost the hapless tourists in a very round sum.
For example, if today is the trip from JFK to Manhattan costs $ 52, imagine that in 1981, these taxi drivers managed to take it for a few hundred. The most egregious was a case where a four-naive students from Nigeria stripped $ 1,350 for the trip from the airport to Midtown.
Tourists are deceived and duped as we could just to tear off them a little more. Of New York at some point I realized that such actions of crooks suffers not only the image of the city, but also cause great damage to the tourism industry. Foreigners began to avoid travel to New York as a result of which the city began to lose many millions of dollars.
Of course, not just rogues-taxi drivers were to blame for this, but it was with an unpleasant acquaintance with him began to many a trip to the Big Apple. And instead of spending money on dining, entertainment, sightseeing or souvenir shopping, which gave work to many residents and brought to New York in the form of income taxes paid, a tourist gave them rogues-taxi drivers, who bluntly put them in his pocket. Deceiving a sucker-alien, a taxi driver actually stole money from himself, from his family and makes the city in which he lives, only worse. Swindlers acted very aggressively, arriving surrounded on all sides, blocked passages, loudly and obtrusively offered their services, deftly snatched the bag and dragged the victim to his car. The main thing was not to give a person time to recover and to stay, try to understand the situation.
No amount, of course, did not call. At the end of the trip the passenger with a fait accompli. When he refused to pay, threatened with everything from police, physical violence and ending with a promise to take and throw somewhere in Harlem.
The most problematic place on the map was the airport John F. Kennedy. The vast majority of tourists arrive in New York through its terminals, and airport accessibility is poor. It is located in the suburbs, until it does not reach any one of the branches of the subway, and to get to the same Manhattan other options except taxis especially and was not. Of course, you could take a bus to the nearest subway station, but in criminal 80s there yet, not every tourist was ready to go down.
The authorities have begun to try to carry out instructions of all arriving in New York. The aircraft before boarding began to turn the rollers telling about fraud at the airport and calling to use only the official yellow taxis, and only go by the meter. In all rooms and toilets airport arrivals greeted informational posters.
But it turned out that, firstly, people are inattentive and exhortations government reacts sluggishly, and secondly, many travelers language problems, and they just do not understand the warnings. Rogues also on alert, exhibited barkers well-dressed people with disposing appearance that confidential voice reported that a taxi is now a strike, and the last bus had just left that yellow cabs carry only in Brooklyn and the Bronx, and the drive to Manhattan for Acceptable amount may only they. They even managed to catch those who ordered a taxi in advance, peeping names on the plates, which are held in their hands greeting the drivers and passengers podlavlivaya before them - are you Walter White? Come with me, I have come across. And the people on it was conducted, then catching a fallen jaw on the floor when he heard the amount at the end of the trip.
Even sitting in the official yellow taxi, the passenger was not insured against fraud. Screw the counter data by using special electronic devices, and a trip that was supposed to cost $ 30, manages more than 100. The government then estimated that 70% of passengers, departing from Kennedy airport in a taxi, got into the clutches of thieves.
Billboards at the airport, and is used to this day.
The first significant change came in 1994, when establishing order in New York took up the new mayor Giuliani. Then, with a fine of fifty dollars increased to one and a half thousand, adding to it a possible prison term of up to 45 days. Under attack were illegal taxi drivers, drivers, pulling a passenger without prior arrangement, and taxi drivers, Screw counter or riding at all without it.
Innocent tricks on the background of all this, there were attempts to take a few passengers and get to each full payment of the fare or require excessive tipping, which, incidentally, are generally a matter of purely voluntary. The police started to work on already-proven technique while "undercover", when officers, dressed in civilian clothes and posing tourists with suitcases and tickets in hand, came out of the arrival hall, get hooked crooks got into the car and took them in the act.
Further arrest, court fines and possible imprisonment. The second innovation was fixed tariffs, which negated the fraud with meters. The third organization boarding of passengers and the introduction of dispatchers. All this is not scam eradicated in airports, but has reduced it to a minimum. Now the official yellow taxis almost 100% working honestly. Today, the process is as follows. Work in the territory of a taxi, organize and control the special staff supervisor. Take passengers only yellow taxis can without prior arrangement. Managers organize their turn, with the bulk of the cars awaiting passengers near the terminals, and special parking at the airport, where they were organized in small batches sent to the arrivals area. There taxi drivers of the cars do not go out. They just stand in another queue and slowly move it to the place of embarkation.
Passengers in the terminal and stand in a queue. When flies several flights, the queue at the taxi can be quite long.
landing places specially marked.
The process of waiting the most organized.
Planting produce managers who write down license plate number, ask you to address and report on the cost of the upcoming trip.
You will be given a piece of paper with approximate fares, if you go to any district of New York, except Manhattan. Return fare is fixed at $ 52, plus the cost of the bridges and tunnels of payment, if necessary. Previously, fixed rates apply to all regions, but now they have canceled. If the payment amount is significantly different from that indicated, you can call a special phone and complain. The main thing - do not forget to take a check.
This organization process minimizes the risk of being cheated. The taxi driver, of course, can not you take that route, but all the data are displayed on the map and recorded in the memory of a computer installed in his car. In the event of a complaint from your side they can always look and see how he was taking you. The taxi driver may include an overvalued rate, but it is also recorded and then these drivers are fined and lose their licenses. It is therefore advantageous to him to take you quickly and take the next passenger, than trying to earn extra money. The most he can - is to stand in traffic jams for wrapping counter, but a lot to cut down so still will not work. The main problem now become the queue waiting for the landing, and the nagging taxi driver on the way to the intrusive demands a tip at the end of the trip. Especially if you are traveling in some remote area, where it is guaranteed to return empty.
Left turn yellow cabs, on the right expect a car passenger car service companies. They can do this only if the pre-order.
The most interesting is that the crooks were not translated until now. In other places I have not seen them, but at the airport Kennedy see every time you go there. Now working as illegal taxi drivers who do not have a license and therefore the risk of losing it. They stand in the crowd, along with meet and quietly offer their services to all coming out with our bags from the customs control zone.
Some of them catches the passengers in accordance with their national identity. Hispanic taxi drivers catch people arrived from Latin America. Uzbeks catch flights from Moscow, which is always a lot of inhabitants of Central Asia. Many flew for the first time in New York did not speak English and was happy to trust their fate welcoming and friendly uncle, who did not hesitate to take on more of the official rate.
Over the 52-dollar trip asking for from 70 to 120, depending on your type and their appetites. Under the current law, it shines 90 days in jail and a fine $ 1,250. According to press reports, they are still caught and arrested, but no matter how many times I have been at the airport, they were always there, but the police close I have never seen. According to official figures, more than 400 arrests of illegal taxi drivers were produced in 2011. Each was fined, and many prison term. But despite this, they still come back. One such illegal taxi driver was arrested as many as 82 times. They are ready to go to prison every two or three months, but in between stints to earn 20-30 thousand. Dollars. Such figures lead the police control the port of New York and New Jersey, all airports are in charge of.