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Bloomberg Signs Bill Toughening Cab Drivers' Penalties

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TWC News: Bloomberg Signs Bill Toughening Cab Drivers' Penalties
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The city is upping the ante for taxi drivers who give passengers a hard time.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a bill Tuesday that raises fines for taxi drivers who overcharge passengers or refuse to take them anywhere in the five boroughs.

It increases fines for first-time offenders to $500, and $1,000 for a second offense.

A third violation could lead to a drivers license being revoked.

Bloomberg said the law sends a message that the city will not tolerate drivers who discriminate against passengers based on where they live or what they look like.

"The vast majority of cab riders, as you know, obey the rules and provide stellar service to our city. For those who skirt the rules however, this legislation will hurt them where it hurts, in their pocketbooks," said the mayor. "Some taxi drivers argue that making trips out of Manhattan doesn't make economic sense. After this bill is enacted, that claim will not pass muster."

The City Council passed the legislation earlier this month.

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance has criticized the increased fines, calling the penalties too severe.

New Yorkers who are denied taxi service in the five boroughs should call 311 and lodge a complaint with the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

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