Port Authority officials and the Queens District Attorney's office announced the arrest of 18 people Tuesday in an investigation targeting unlicensed drivers who illegally pick up fares.
The operation was conducted at JFK and LaGuardia.
Authorities say the unlicensed drivers aren't drug tested, don't get background checks and aren't subject to insurance requirements.
Investigators say that hurts both customers and licensed drivers.
"In addition to fleecing travelers and tourists they also hit the honest taxi driver in the pocket book," said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
The 18 people arrested face charges including unlawful solicitation and criminal trespassing.
Last month, Governor David Paterson signed a bill providing stiffer penalties for solicitation.
If convicted, the drivers face up to three months in prison.