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TLC Explains E-Hail Rules After Rider Says Cabbie Booted Her for Uber Fare

By Ben Fractenberg | April 15, 2014 5:29pm
  Guardian  editor Erin McCann tweeted that a cabdriver kicked her out in order to pick up an Uber Fare in Williamsburg Monday night. 
Guardian editor Erin McCann tweeted that a cabdriver kicked her out in order to pick up an Uber Fare in Williamsburg Monday night. 
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Shutterstock/Jeff Skopin

BROOKLYN — The Taxi & Limousine Commission clarified its rules regarding cabs using e-hail apps after a Twitter war of words between a Guardian editor and executive of the Uber’s New York office Tuesday.

Uber general manager Josh Mohrer got into a back-and-forth on Twitter with editor Erin McCann after she tweeted Monday night that a borough cab driver kicked her out of his car in Williamsburg to pick up an Uber fare.

The incident was first reported by Valleywag.

TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg told DNAinfo New York, “it's absolutely unacceptable for a driver — green or medallion — to have accepted a hail, and then reject the passenger in favor of another. We strongly encourage that passenger to report the details, so that we can take whatever actions are appropriate, once it has been investigated and adjudicated. The penalties for service refusal are severe, and extend as far as suspension and revocation in some instances, and we take such reports very seriously.”

Fromberg added that a driver is supposed to turn off his or her roof light after accepting an Uber fare.

“If the roof light is on, the driver can't refuse the street hail," Fromberg told Valleywag. "TLC rules require a boro taxi driver to have turned off her/his roof light when traveling to pick up a pre-arranged trip.”

The driver of McCann's cab could not immediately be located for comment.

The kerfuffle started after McCann claims the cab stopped to pick her up at North Sixth Street and Bedford Avenue, drove a half block and then asked her to exit the cab for the Uber fare.

“Just had a medallioned NYC taxi cab kick me out because it was moonlighting as a uber. YOU HAVE A [F***ING] TAXI MEDALLION,” she tweeted at 9:46 p.m.

McCann told the driver she would leave the cab after writing down his medallion number, according to her tweets. He then allegedly tried to bail on his Uber fare and not kick her out of the car.

McCann tweeted that she eventually got out and lodged a complaint with 311 against the driver.

All of this apparently did not sit well with the Uber executive.

Mohrer first tweeted that the driver may have been waiting for an Uber fare when she got into the cab.

Things then quickly escalated:

Mohrer eventually apologized for upsetting McCann and others.

You can read the full exchange here.

Uber did not immediately return a request for comment.