Just as Bloomberg is pushing to let livery cabs and limos legally pick up fares in the outer boroughs, the NYPD and the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) are cracking down on gypsy cabs doing it in Manhattan. Specifically, they are busting cars, limos and livery cabs that are picking up (and then gouging) drunk Meatpacking District patrons. In one recent sweep more than a hundred summonses were given out and 10 vehicles were impounded.

One of the big problems seems to be that club-goers love the allure of leaving in a vehicle that isn't a regular yellow taxi cab. "The Meatpacking District is a major hub for illegal gypsy cabs," TLC Commissioner David Yassky told The Post before urging riders to take yellow taxis instead. If you want to be sure that the fare you are paying is correct, you want to ride in a car with a legit meter. And that guy in the black limo offering to take you uptown for $50? He doesn't have a legit meter. It may be cold out there, but you'll save a few waiting it out for a real taxi.

And, for our curious readers, what does it cost a driver busted taking an illegal street hail? $350 for the first offense and $500 for the second, if they drive a licensed livery cab (a third illegal pick-up can cost them their license!). If a person is caught picking up fares in an unlicensed car the fines are steeper, ranging from $400-$1,000, and can include up to 60 days in jail.