The scofflaws are bullying the outer-boroughs’ new green-taxi operators — kicking, smacking and spitting on the apple-colored rides to scare them from what has been their prime turf, legal workers told The Post.
The illicit drivers “have been making violent threats — kicking cars and banging on widows,” said Jenny Ahmed, who runs a green-taxi base in Brooklyn. “They think they’ve been there longer and it’s their turf.”
At least three of Ahmed’s drivers have suffered through car-whackings and threats from angry drivers since the green-taxi program launched in August, she said.
Fights have flared up in front of the Target store on Flatbush Avenue near Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
One green-cab driver was forced to give up a prime parking spot near the Atlantic Avenue Terminal after a black-livery-car operator spat at him, the driver said.
“[He] came and told me I had to leave,” said the driver, who declined to give his name. . I said, ‘No,’ and he put his hand down on the front of my car,” the green cabbie told The Post, making a slamming motion.“I tried to drive away because I don’t want to fight, and he kicked my tire. He spit at my car.”
“Some of them are just nasty,’’ he added. “They think they own the street. They don’t want [green taxies] in their spots . . . We’re all trying to make money for our families. [But] they want to keep the riders for themselves.”
The green cabby said he no longer trolls that area, where throngs of Barclays customers hunt for post-event rides, because he doesn’t want trouble from the rogue drivers.
“I don’t want to fight. It isn’t worth it,” he said.
More than 1,000 green taxis are on the streets, with another roughly 5,000 due out in March. They are only allowed to pick up hails in upper Manhattan and the outer boroughs, where livery cabs — both legal and not — previously had no competition. Yellow cabs still rule Manhattan.
Alpha, a 60-year-old livery-cab driver who declined to give his last name, griped about the green-cab program.
“It’s taking my life,” he said. “I work, but I have nothing. We are poor people. We have to live.”
Some yellow-cab drivers also griped about the green taxis, saying they pick up hails outside their allowed upper-Manhattan and outer-borough zone.
Meanwhile, cab drivers admitted that they do have cliques.
For example, “yellow cabs will be more courteous to other yellow-cab drivers, even if you don’t personally know the driver. … A yellow-cab driver might let another yellow-cab driver [cut] in front of him but not a gypsy cab. And gypsy-cab drivers will let another gypsy cab in but not yellow,” yellow-cab driver Jafar Abukar-Bright, 48, told The Post.
[NY Post Report]