The Cab Driver Who Could


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Once upon a time (before July 21, 2007), in a place far, far way (actually, right here), there lived a man by the name of Ray Kottner. A gentleman all his life and a taxi driver for 64 years, ottner one day decided to spice things up a bit. Instead of charging people like a money-grubbing American, Kottner tried something foreign: he would [offer free rides] to tourists with a side of New York City history along the way. People were so taken by Kottner’s self-proclaimed people-hating business model that [CBS even did a special](http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/05/12/assignment_america/main1616300.shtml ) on him in 2006!


But eventually, the big bad [Taxi and Limousine Commission](http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/home/home.shtml ) told him to stop, claiming that his lone cab was stealing business from the other 13,000 on the street each day. The TLC argues that Kottner does in fact charge his passengers an agreed-upon fare, and does not merely accept the occasional tip as he claims, meaning that his joy ride actually falls under the their jurisdiction. So on Thursday, the commission took a cab away from an 80-year-old man, and refused to give it back until he could come up with $1,500 to post bond and another $185 to pay the officer who impounded it. Luckily, he did just that yesterday. The End. Or is it? Kottner vows to be back on the road as soon possible, keep an eye out for a curmudgeon with a heart of gold.


Photo courtesy of [cwbuecheler on Flickr]


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