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New York City - TLC Investigating: Manhattan Doormen Demanding Bribes From Taxis

Published on: May 13, 2010 02:39 PM
By:  NY Post
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New York City - Hotel doormen across Manhattan are shaking down yellow cabbies for bribes of up to $15 before allowing them to transport guests to local airports, taxi officials told The Post.

Drivers who refuse to pay are blacklisted.

The rampant practice has sparked a Taxi and Limousine Commission investigation — and earned the ire of furious drivers.

“This stuff goes on day in and day out at hotels all over Midtown,” said David Pollack, a former driver and director of the Committee for Taxi Safety. “It’s never happened as much as it is now. Everyone’s hurting for money and no one is stopping it.”

It’s a way for doormen to double their tips, as the tourist they’re hailing a cab for will also toss them some green.

“After they collect the tip from the guests, they wrap around the car and get a tip from the driver,” said cabby Mohammed Shiraz, 31, outside the Milford Hotel today. “It’s just wrong.”

Hacks that won’t play by the street rules are ostracized from taxi lines that form outside hotels, which could devastate their bottom line.


Doormen will just bypass them for the next yellow cab driver that will pay, or hail a “black car” livery cab.

“It’s a dirty little trade secret. The doormen don’t want this to get out,” said a Hilton doorman, who claims it doesn’t happen at his hotel. “They figure no one will listen to a cabby so they’re easy to prey on.”

The practice is not a crime, and cabbies who pay doormen for fares are not violating TLC policy, officials said.

“We hear many complaints from the taxi industry about this problem, and we are very sensitive to them,” said TLC chief David Yassky.

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Read Comments (10)  —  Post Yours »


 May 13, 2010 at 03:09 PM Anonymous Says:

This is oshek of the worst variety. Another example of dirty union tactics and hypocrisy- they are out for themselves and could care less about the working man who isn't part of their mafiosi, costra nostra tactics.


 May 13, 2010 at 03:08 PM Avi Says:

If I were a driver and some doorman came around to collect his blackmail, I'd just warn him that the car was about to move and I'd mow him down.

I truly hope every one of these doormen are run over by a loaded bus.


 May 13, 2010 at 03:02 PM Anonymous Says:

why is it that i dont belive the cabbies yet i also dont believe the doormen.
cabbies are probably trying to get another raise in their fares and perhaps there are some doormen out there who do this.
if enough cabbies complain to the hotels , if it is a reputable hotel, this will be quickly resolved.


 May 13, 2010 at 03:05 PM Anonymous Says:

are these the same cabbies who were recently busted for cheating new yorkers out of millions due to changing the rate? wassamater? only you guys can fleece ppl?


 May 13, 2010 at 03:43 PM Anonymous Says:

The cabbies also expect tips from passengers.


 May 13, 2010 at 05:05 PM Anonymous Says:

what would happen if i dont tip the cabby as he expects?
the cabbies should just shut their big mouths!


 May 13, 2010 at 07:28 PM Anonymous Says:

what is wrong with this if its not illegal


 May 13, 2010 at 08:34 PM Anonymous Says:

New Yorkers, if you live in Brooklyn like me we are New yorkers in name only. Cabs are only interested in Manhattan and tourists, this is the proof. They rather pay bribes than go to Brooklyn.


 May 13, 2010 at 08:44 PM Anonymous Says:

I don't see any problem with this practice. If cabbies don't like it, go elsewhere. Its like if a MaitreD at a restaurant demanded a tip to seat me at a good table - if i dont like that, ill go to a different restaurant problem solved


 May 13, 2010 at 10:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

I don't see any problem with this practice. If cabbies don't like it, go elsewhere. Its like if a MaitreD at a restaurant demanded a tip to seat me at a good table - if i dont like that, ill go to a different restaurant problem solved

NOT so fast!
A Maitre D is the Master of the room. A doorman is not even master of the door, he may not decide who to open it for.
Taking a tip for preferred seating is one thing, demanding a tip for delivering a big ticket passenger (as oposed to a local dide passenger) is wrong. This makes the cab drivers earn less and demand more increases.
It also proves the curent fixed rate is too high (if drivers pay bribes just to get those passengers). A fixed fare to the Airport that is too high drains drivers of their will to visit Brooklyn or other places.


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