Pierre Richard Arty, MD

Fall 2007 - Volume 11 Number 4

He is driving on Church Avenue in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York during the busiest time of the day. It is late afternoon, rush hour to millions of Brooklynites heading home. He is one of several TapTap drivers, often uninsured individuals who have taken upon themselves the responsibility to answer the need for a quick and hopefully safe transportation for the hundreds of people trying to get home after exiting from various subway stations. They are heading to a place where the inhabitants look like they do, speak the same language, cook and eat food that reaffirms who they are after being with outsiders for most of their day. He also knows that the buses that carry them home never arrive promptly. And even if they do, they are often overcrowded with strangers standing closer to one another than they would like to be, especially after a long day’s work.

With these thoughts in mind, he is encouraged by the fact that he is performing a very important function. He knows that he does not have the license to do this and the police frequently stop his fellow TapTap drivers after their cars are filled with passengers. But no amount of summonses can stop these drivers from fulfilling their roles. Besides, it is good money. Why should the city make that money?

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