VIDEO: TOURISTS RIPPED OFF BY CARRIAGE DRIVER WITH SORDID PAST AT ILLEGAL BOARDING LOCATION
In a new video obtained by NYCLASS, a carriage horse driver is seen courting tourists at an unlawful boarding location in Central Park by Tavern on the Green. The video reveals that the driver offered the tourists a ride to see nearby park sites for $140, an exorbitant amount. A standard carriage ride typically costs about $54.00
“Once again, the drivers are acting in an unprofessional and unethical manner,” said Edita Birnkrant, Executive Director of NYCLASS. “We have known for some time that the drivers treat the carriage horses inhumanely and overcharge tourists, but now we have additional proof that they are not even following the most recent rules to protect the pedestrians who use Central Park.”
The driver, Kevin Luo, has a history of improper behavior and unsafe driving. In 2014, Mr. Luo was charged with falsifying city records in order to fraudulently continue using a much older horse with breathing issues. When his actions were exposed, he sold the horse to an undisclosed purchaser, who we fear ended up slaughtered.
The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs has cited Luo for false advertising, overcharging customers and operating a carriage for more hours than allowed.
In addition, the location of the pickup raises serious safety and legal issues. Only three months after the New York City Department of Transportation officially moved the hackline off City streets to three designated locations inside the park, the drivers are already violating the public safety rules. NYCLASS and other observers have documented multiple instances of carriage drivers picking up and dropping off passengers in unlawful locations, such as in front of the Museum of Natural History, on 59th Street, by Columbus Circle, and other locations.
See the video here