A driver for the Green Hornet car service was arrested today for allegedly selling cocaine. A significant fact missed by local media is that the man arrested is not a taxi driver, and Green Hornet is not a taxi company.
Green Hornet is a livery service. There's a big difference.
Cab companies are regulated by the police department. Cab drivers undergo extensive background checks, and receive a special license from the police.
Livery drivers don't. They obtain licensing through the Department of Motor Vehicles, similar to a truck driver.
Green Hornet has been operating for some months now in Ithaca, advertising itself as a taxi company. Customers have no way of knowing that its drivers have not undergone the scrutiny that is mandatory for cab drivers.
Customers also don't know that Green Hornet cannot legally provide the same services as a true cab company.
Green Hornet cannot pick up a customer within the Ithaca City limits for a trip within the city limits. They are only permitted to take fares from the city to outside the city - for example, from downtown to Pyramid Mall, or from Ithaca College to downtown. A Green Hornet car is not permitted to take a fare from one side of the city to the other, or to operate between downtown and Cornell.
You will not get any indication of this, however, from their Yellow Pages advertising, or any of their other advertising.
Nor, unfortunately, does the local media take note of this important detail in this criminal case.