Thursday, March 20, 2014 | 2:01 a.m.
Long-hauling by cabbies is a million-dollar-a-year racket for the cab companies. It’s clear they do not want this practice to stop.
They encourage their drivers to rip off tourists and locals alike. The cab companies and city leaders have only been giving lip service to correcting the situation.
If the city and state want to end long-hauling, they could have stopped it years ago. Here are some suggestions:
First, stop the close relationship between the cab companies and the Taxi Authority regulators. Right now, it’s a fixed game in favor of the cab companies.
Second, hit the cab companies where it hurts — in their pocketbook. Fine the cab companies big time rather than giving them a slap on the wrist, as is current policy. I’m talking hundreds of thousands of dollars for violations.
Third, fine the cabbies themselves with an amount big enough to get their attention to make them realize that long-hauling isn’t worth it.
Finally, if a cabbie is caught and fined on three occasions, he or she should be fired. It stands to reason that if the cabbie violated the law on three occasions and paid big, substantial fines and still is long-hauling, the cabbie does not intend to stop the practice.