- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 3, 2013

An investigation initiated by a Boston newspaper finds that cab drivers are forced to pay bribes and fees to fleet owners just for the right to drive and then, at the end of their shift, are forced to fill their taxis with gas purchased from the company’s overpriced tanks.

The investigation was kicked off when a reporter-turned-taxi driver alerted his former employer, the Boston Globe, of being forced to pay between $5 and $20 at the start of each shift to the night dispatcher. That driver witnessed other cabbies doing the same, Newser reports.

“In short, a nine-month Globe Spotlight Team investigation has found, the cab industry in Boston is a world of serial indignities that drivers, a largely immigrant workforce, endure while many cab owners walk off with huge and remarkably easy profits,” the Globe reports.

The report said cabbies generally start each driving shift in the hole to the fleet operators and then have to recoup that money to pay at the end of the shift.

“They just do bribes left and right,” driver Nas Farah said of Boston Cab, as quoted in the Globe.

Boston Cab controls 20 percent of the city’s taxi licenses, the Globe reported.