Jungs, es ist noch nicht wirklich lange her, daß mal ein Mopo-Reporter bei uns am Flughafen nur ungern FOTOGRAFIERTE, geschweige denn dort mal seinen Bedürfnissen nachzugehen. Und viel hat sich da BIS HEUTE nicht geändert! Aber wir sehen, auch in New York kämpfen die Cabbies mit den gleichen Problemen!
Posted: 07 Jul 2010 01:08 AM PDT
Driver Mohan Singh shows the lack of doors at the JFK Main Yellow Cab/Taxi Holding lot bathrooms which serve over 500 drivers on a daily basis and are in serious disrepair.
New York City taxi drivers put up with a lot. But even for long-suffering hacks, the stomach-churning toilets they’re forced to use at the city’s busiest airport are too much to bear, they said.
The bathrooms at JFK Airport’s Central Taxi Hold, where drivers queue up for fares, have fallen into an appalling state of disrepair. And drivers want an overhaul.
Some stalls are held together by rope or propped up on milk crates, while some partitions and doors have been replaced by curtains made from black plastic trash bags.
The stench from the pools of urine on the floor is overpowering, and hacks who want to wash up have to dip their hands into broken soap dispensers.
“It’s very disgusting,” said driver Harjit Singh, 41. “You feel like throwing up when you use it.”
“It’s a disaster,” said Pemba Sherpa, 39, a driver from Jackson Heights. “To be honest, I only use it in emergencies.”
Despite hundreds of complaints and calls to 311, drivers said the Port Authority, which runs the airport, has refused to fix the problem.
“The Port Authority goes all the time and checks it, but they don’t fix it,” said Herve Menard, 52, of Rockland County. “They put [up] plastic bags.”
The bathroom, used by as many as 200 cabbies an hour during peak times, has been in desperate need of repair for months, said Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers’ Alliance. The PA had vowed to fix it by January, but renovations never happened, she said.
“They take the drivers for granted,” Desai said. “The least they’re entitled to is clean and safe bathrooms.”
But for hacks, the repulsive rest room can be more than just unpleasant. One driver told the alliance that a stall nearly collapsed around him. Others told the Daily News the ubiquitous pools of urine on the floor soak through their shoes, stinking up their cabs.
For many, it may be the only bathroom break they get all day. A study by the alliance found that many hacks suffer from kidney problems due to inadequate access to toilets, Desai said.
A PA official said the agency tries to “provide the best facilities for our customers, including the cab drivers.”
“But we also expect and hope that they treat those facilities with some degree of care,” said spokesman John Kelly.
In contrast, at LaGuardia Airport, an attendant at the rest room for cabbies keeps it immaculately clean, drivers said. Hacks tip the attendant, but it was unclear whom he works for.
“LaGuardia is beautiful,” said Singh. “They clean it twice a day.”
Disappointed hacks said they’re not holding their breath for a renovation at JFK.
“I hold my nose. What kind of choice do you have? You can’t pee inside the cab,” said Ilya Atanelov, a 61-year-old driver from Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.