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TLC to Consider 1st Overall Taxi Fare Hike in 8 Years

Monday, May 21, 2012

Taxi, cab, taxi cab (Karly Domb Sadof/WNYC)

A proposed taxi fare hike may go into effect by the end of the summer.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission said this month that it would consider what could be the first overall fare hike in eight years.

“It’s reasonable for taxi drivers and fleet owners to put this one the table,” said TLC Commissioner David Yassky. “We will consider their petitions over the next couple of months.”

The Taxi Workers Alliance asked for an increase of between 20 and 25 percent when it submitted its proposal last year. But the number would likely be closer to between 16 and 20 percent, sources said.

“Its about time,” said Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the TWA. “We’ve seen drivers really struggling out there to make ends meet.”

But for the raise to have its desired effects, the lease cap would have to stay frozen, Desai said, adding she would like to see a percentage of any increase set aside for a driver health and wellness fund.

Michal Woloz, a spokesman for fleet owners group the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade said they submitted their request to the TLC for a 20 percent fare hike and a 20 percent raise on the lease cap two years ago.

“We need a reasonable fare increase for our drivers as well as a reasonable increase to the lease cap,” he said in a statement.

If a fare increase is approved by the summer, it will coincide with the sale of the new outer-borough livery permits and 2,000 yellow medallions.

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