Morning rush hour. White Plains TransCenter. Chaos.
It's 7:30 a.m. and the city's train station is bursting with activity. The sounds of beeping horns and traffic are briefly drowned out by the metal-on-metal squeal of brakes as a northbound train pulls up to the platform. As hundreds empty out of that train, commuters heading the other way bound up the stairs, trying to catch a Manhattan-bound train before it leaves.
In front of the station, where on a normal day it's not uncommon to see see cab drivers arguing about who was first in line and would-be riders arguing about fares, all is calm and running smoothly. A closer look shows why: Two blue-shirted "taxi enforcement" officers, also known as "starters," are greeting cabbies and customers alike, opening doors for passengers to get in, making sure the taxis are clean and ensuring that the city's taxi laws are being followed.