Tuesday, December 18, 2012

How to file a complaint against taxis who charge Sumner Tunnel fare to East Boston residents

From a reader: 
I, myself, am almost always charged the Sumner Tunnel toll by taxi drivers, for them to go back through the tunnel to return to Boston, even though it's the law that they aren't supposed to charge East Boston residents. When this happens, I go to: www.cityofboston.gov/police/hackney/taxi.asp and then click on Complaints & Lost Property and compete the form.  And then Hackney gets a money order from the taxi driver and mails me the reimbursement for what I was overcharged.  And, to top it off, even though the drivers charge the Tunnel fare, they don't return to Boston via the Tunnel.  They go down Meridian Street, and through Chelsea and Everett, into Boston via Route 99. 
I've complained to both LaMattina's and Basile's offices about this, and am always told they'll pass along the message and look into it but, as far as I can tell, nothing has been done.  I've asked them to propose legislation to allow Hackney to charge the drivers a penalty when this happens.  As of right now, the only "punishment" is that they have to present a money order to reimburse the passenger what they overcharged.  That's not a consequence, since they're only giving back money that was stolen in the first place.  If there were some sort of punishment (especially monetary), maybe they wouldn't take a chance to overcharge.  As of now, it's worth the chance, because there's no punishment, so why not try..."