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Fines against taxi drivers who skip passengers to go up

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taxi Photo Credit: Getty Images

Cab drivers who refuse passengers or overcharge them are going to be paying higher fines.

The City Council unanimously voted Wednesday to increase the maximum fine from $350 to $500 for a first offense and from $500 to $1,000 for a second offense in a two-year period.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to sign the legislation, which is meant to deter illegal, discriminatory practices by some drivers.

"Too often in this city, people are denied a cab ride because of what they look like or where in the city they're going," Transportation Chair James Vacca said in a statement. "The stories are too many and have gone on for too long."

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