Can you explain what my rights are as a taxi passenger regarding EZ-Pass? I travel weekly, and when returning to the city, I want to avoid potential cash lines at the tolls. Therefore, when I enter a cab at the airport, if I don't see an EZ-Pass attached to the windshield (which is often) I ask the driver if they have EZ-Pass. I get a lot of grumbling, some lies, and last night a cabbie at LGA went ballistic and started screaming at me for asking! I promptly exited the cab and went to another, but was unnerved by the situation. On a couple of other occasions, cabbies have told me they had EZ-Pass at the airport and then paid cash for the toll. Am I supposed to pay the EZ-pass toll amount or the cash amount? The TLC website drivers rules explicitly state that the driver must have an EZ-Pass and the EZ-Pass discounts are to be passed on to passengers. If you can shed light on any of these areas I would really appreciate it. My experiences have been so varied that I think I may need to carry my own EZ-Pass with me!
You are correct, cabbies are supposed to have E-Z pass. According to the TLC FAQ: "The taxicab driver must use the E-Z Pass when passing through tolls. The passenger will reimburse the driver for any toll cost during the trip. The passenger will be paying the discounted E Z Pass toll rate."
Of course, as you've found out, not every taxi driver complies 100% with every TLC rule.
Yes, you could carry your own E-Z pass with you, but since you have had so many angry responses from drivers about the E-Z pass issue, you probably don't want to risk provoking some overworked, overtired driver by waving an E-Z pass at him. Why they wouldn't have their own pass is beyond us, though. We think you are well within your rights to politely point out the rule regarding E-Z pass. If you find another driver who does not use E-Z pass and you feel that you are being overcharged for your taxi ride by paying a higher toll than the E-Z pass rate, make a note of the medallion number and file a complaint with the TLC.