It’s a pretty well known fact that NYC cabbies don’t like coming to Brooklyn. Now a new Taxi and Limousine Commission study says hacks don’t like to go ANYWHERE during the “switch-over” time between 4pm – 5pm.
TLC Commish/Brooklyn Heights resident David Yassky gave the New York Times the scoop on the cabbie witching hour:
NY Times: “It’s not just urban legend,” said David S. Yassky, the chairman of the Taxi and Limousine Commission, who asked his agency to investigate the phenomenon. “It’s a real dip.”
The Bloomberg administration, which prides itself on data-driven policy, is still grappling with how to handle the discovery. Mr. Yassky said that, so far, he had no plans to ask for any changes to the industry’s schedule, although his team is still considering its options.
Mr. Yassky said the city “should be circumspect about substituting its judgment for the judgment of business people.” But he acknowledged that any attempt at regulation would have to take into account the forces that have kept the practice in place for years.
The explanation for the 5 p.m. dip is steeped in the history and economics of the taxi industry. Many taxicabs are used by two drivers a day, each working a 12-hour shift. To ensure that each leg is equally attractive, taxi owners schedule the shift change in the middle of the afternoon, so each shift gets a rush hour.