Wednesday, May 9, 2012

the fake taxicab

Greetings again. Sorry again, I just can't post articles on a regular basis. I take two days off each week, sometimes more, but when 14 hours in total are spent driving a cab and getting to the garage from home, the rest of my time is dedicated to sleep and one or two tv shows. I'm addicted to "Lost" right now. Holy crap that's the best TV series ever!!

Anyway, when I think about the most important information relating to New York City yellow cabs that nobody is talking about, it would be the fake taxi:

Most cabbies complain about car service cars picking up people who hail them from the street. That is an illegal thing to do, but these drivers are at least licensed professionals who have the job of specifically driving passengers around in all parts of New York City, some of the neighborhoods aren't so safe either, so it is an unwritten rule to look the other way with this behavior. Everybody has to make a living, and these drivers are at least licensed by New York City to drive New Yorkers around.

What bothers me is a particular rare breed of taxicab that is not even licensed by New York City. Rather these cars, older yellow Ford Crown Victorias with various taxicab stickers designed to look similar to the official NYC taxi stickers, is licensed to operate in another town in New York State. Legally these taxis, are supposed to pick-up people in Westchester County or wherever, not in New York City. I shoudn't be seeing them going a crosstown, I shouldn't be seeing them cruising the Lower East Side and Williamsburg at 3am on the weekends, and I definitely shouldn't be seeing them parked across the street from a hotel. It is one thing to be picking up people illegally, but this cab takes it one step further by lying to customers, pretending it is something it isn't.

  1. The value of a New York City taxi medallion is $800,000 dollars now, and these cabs don't have a medallion.
  2. The pricing on the meter is unregulated and officially stated on the door to increase every 6th of a mile, while the legal taxicabs have a regulated meter that increases every 5th of a mile.
  3. Because these cabs are not regulated by the Taxi and Limousine Commission, they follow absolutely none of the rules of the commission. This car is too old to be a yellow cab, the meter charges more, they do not take credit cards, who knows what else is wrong with this.
For all I know there could be 4 or 5 of these cars working for a company illegally. Here are my pictures:

The veteran impostor.1
I saw this car at 83rd street or 85th street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. The car was parked there all day long, which convinces me that the owner lives in the neighborhood, which I might add is the wealthiest neighborhood in New York City.  The following 7 pictures are of the same car. each picture is examining decals on the cab which are similar but different from official New York licensed decals, designed to give the customer enough confidence to ride in this car. 3 more pictures are posted of another cab I've seen more recently driving around New York City doing the same thing.

The veteran impostor.2

The veteran impostor.3

The veteran impostor.4

The veteran impostor.5

The veteran impostor.6

The veteran impostor.7

The veteran impostor.8




  • Don't get scammed!! All of these pictures are of illegal taxicabs. 

  • Do NOT take a taxicab that has a license plate ending with the letters TY or TX.
  • Do NOT take a taxicab without a tv screen in the back seat with a credit card swiper. All licensed New York City yellow cabs have a monitor in the back with a credit card swiper.
  • Do NOT taxi a taxi cab that has only numbers on the roof. (see above picture -0423) All regulation taxicabs have a roof number in a sequence of number, letter, then number, then number again.                                                                                                                                     -For example, the real taxicab in the background has a number that reads -7H57


Mike said...

This weekend I saw one of these strange cabs on 9th Avenue in or around the 40's, as well as a couple of New Jersey cabs in that area(even my son noticed this...and he could care less about cabs unlike his dopey dad). The Jersey cabs had passengers and appeared to be heading south west to the tunnel to head back to Jersey. I only noticed because they had the old style black bumpers. I also had a black Lincoln pull up to me one evening asking if I needed a ride, which I know is illegal. I was curious what he would charge and how much he sized me up as a tourist....I told him I needed to go to the 80's to my nephews school (I was in the high 50's) and he said 20 bucks. Unbelievable.

Cloudia said...

the taxi comish should take notice!

Warm Aloha from Honolulu
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NYC taxi photo said...

They should do significant time in jail for this.. the old punishment for this offense was a $1,000 fine.

Now I believe they confiscate the car. still not a big deal since you can buy a car for 3 grand.

the value of a medallion is btw 800,000 to a million.. so isn't this business fraud? and if the prices are higher than legal taxicabs, and if there are illegal zapping devices to tick the meter whenever the driver pleases, doesn't that constitute robbery, racketeering, and price gouging??

NYC taxi photo said...

Mike: I'm not too worried about the taxicabs from New Jersey. Usually they are driving down streets that go directly to the tunnels into New Jersey.

I think it's not very nice that some of the New Jersey cab markings are too similar to ours, but those cab drivers are generally good people, they don't steal our rides unless they land right in their lap. it's pretty hard for them to steal a New York fare when they usually don't have meters. All taxi rides from Newark Airport are flat fees, so they don't use a meter.

Unknown said...

I've never been to New York (From London) but if I did go without reading your recent posts I really wouldn't have thought they were fake, Its yellow with Taxi looking markings.
Whats the official punishment for doing this?

Interesting Blog


NYC taxi photo said...

I think they get their car taken. I'm not sure if they pay a fee to retrieve their car again, or if they have to start all over and buy another one.

Hope you saw my last posting to show what a real new york taxi does look like.

good news! I have not seen any of these fake taxi cabs in a few months. maybe they've all got caught.

Moe Satriani said...

It kind of freaks me out when there are fake taxi drivers and cars found. I thought that these drivers needed to get a special licensee before they can start to drive people to different locations. I have always had really good experiences with taxis in general though.