In what first appeared to be a copy cat incident of a shopping cart being thrown over the side of a parking garage in East Harlem last fall, 2 men were injured – one critically yesterday at the Gateway Center in the Bronx.
According to WABC, investigators are eyeing a possible connection with a possible “turf war” between competing taxi drivers at the mall.
I shop at the mall once or twice a week and am constantly harassed by these cab drivers who upon seeing you begin to shout for your attention to secure a fare. When the mall first opened two years ago, the problem was huge because they all swarmed the parking lots and walkways and most of them aren’t even licensed taxi and limo drivers, instead, picking up people in their personal cars with personal license plates.
Eventually, only licensed taxi drivers were allowed inside to pick up fares and it is done in an orderly fashion, much like your see outside Penn Station where cabs stand in line. Now, all the unlicensed cab drivers congregate on River Avenue and Exterior stealing customers away from the licensed taxi drivers who pay 10 dollars a day for the privilege of coming in and out of the mall. Let’s not forget that these hardworking individuals are also paying fees to the base they work from and high insurance premiums as well – none of which the illegal drivers outside the mall pay.
Yes these are harsh economic times and Bronxites are great at doing the odd job here and there to make a buck but this is an instance where it must stop. There is a certain sense of safety one feels when entering a licensed taxi – you assume that this person is not some maniac, etc. Not so when someone stranger misleads you into thinking they are qualified to do the job.
The city and Related Companies must put a stop to this for the safety of all!