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.