Inconsistent Cabs: Taking Advantage of College Students Kristen Harrison- Journalism Student

Photo courtesy of Alison Rotolo

As the air becomes more bitter, you are less likely to see college students trekking to nightlife on foot. Rather than walking, students will make use of the local taxi services. With two colleges in town, the cabs are few and the students are many. Cab drivers will often greatly exceed their legal driving limit, squeezing as many as 14 people into a 7-person van. The driver then charges per-person, rather than splitting the cost. As well as being inconsistent with driving costs, the drivers are also threatening the safety of their passengers.

Photo courtesy of the Ithacan

The major taxi companies in the Ithaca area include Collegetown Cab, Ithaca Dispatch and Cayuga Taxi.

Secondary Sources: Look through Ithacan archives and Cornell Daily Sun for previous articles about the local cab companies. Because students are the ones most subject to these violations, student publications would be the most likely to report on them. Go through local newspapers such as the Ithaca Times and the Ithaca Journal.

Primary Sources: Call New York DMV and ask how to access driving records. A possibility may be www.searchsystems.net. Once accessed, go see if any of the taxi companies have driving incidents. Look up the licenses of drivers. Call cab companies and ask to see a completed training form.

Human Sources: Call and set up times to interview companies' managers and drivers. If they cannot release employee information, look up more public records through www.whowhere.com, www.infospace.com, and www.iaf.net. Take a few cab rides and converse with the drivers, who will give you more information about who companies hire to drive and when, and how you may be able to contact more employees. Ask around the IC and Cornell college campuses to see if anyone would be willing to share their cab experiences.

Photos courtesy of Sarah Horbacewicz

Then comes piecing together information from all previously published sources, official documents, and interviews. The purpose of the article would not be to criticize companies for bad service, but to expose the safety and monetary issues. If customer service is bad, why is that? Have customers ever felt in danger or taken advantage of?

Credits:

Alison Rotolo , The Ithacan, Sarah Horbacewicz

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