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Guesthouse owner doesn’t hail Manhattan cabbies

The Brooklyn Paper
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One country-style inn in Boerum Hill is apparently too country for Manhattan cabbies.

In the last two weeks, five different taxi drivers have refused to take fares to the Escape Guesthouse on Bergen Street between Bond and Hoyt streets, claming the bed and breakfast was too far out in the boondocks.

In one case, a cabbie dumped a 19-year-old Belgian tourist on Atlantic Avenue, four blocks from the brownstone inn.

“This kid had no idea where he was in the middle of the night in a place he had never been before,” said Elizabeth Kennick, the guesthouse’s owner, who filed a complaint this week with the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, which requires drivers to take passengers wherever they want within the five boroughs.

TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg said only “a small number of people do this” — and added that the agency has “a zero-tolerance policy for them.”

Penalties for refusing to take a fare range from a $200 fine the first time to losing your license after three violations, Fromberg said.

But that didn’t satisfy Kennick, who said that clueless cabbies have lost her at least one guest, a British man who was refused service from midtown on Monday.

“He hailed three taxis and they all told him they wouldn’t go,” she said. “The minute he saw a hotel in Manhattan, he called us back and canceled his reservation.”

Kennick said she hoped her complaint would hail the attention of the big wheels at the TLC, who could license more cabs to prowl the leafy outer boroughs.

“We are a country retreat,” she said. “But we are still part of the city and we deserve to be treated that way.”

Kinnick’s guesthouse isn’t the only getaway that cabbies can’t seem to get to.

“[Guests] do sometimes have difficulty attracting a yellow cab,” said Gary Marmer, a marketing director for the Brooklyn Marriott.

Marmer said the Marriott, which is on a service road of Adams Street Downtown, was “exploring” the possibility of installing a taxi light in hopes of making it easier for his guests to catch a cab as it speeds back to Manhattan.

“There just aren’t enough yellow cabs who frequent this area in general,” he said.

Updated 4:28 pm, July 9, 2018
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