Taxi Dollars and Sense

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

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

New York Magazine contributor Jennifer Gonnerman talks about spending a "shift in the life" of a NYC yellow cab driver-- and Lakshman "Lucky" Abeysekara, NYC taxi driver, shares his story and talks about the possible fare hike.


Lakshman Abeysekara and Jennifer Gonnerman

Comments [7]


ileen, portland is only 90 minutes from Boston. You don't have to go through half of New Hampshire.

Excellent interview and show all around. Shows how hard drivers work and are taken advantage of. We started to try and help. But it's almost impossible.

- Ari

May. 30 2012 06:05 PM

I don't think you can get to Portland, Maine from NYC in six hours, especially if you start at 2pm. You'd be lucky to get halfway through New Hampshire.

May. 30 2012 01:55 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Interesting that the listeners to Brian's show don't have any comments about this subject... just shows the divide between...

My dad drove his own hack for decades and I drove a cab out of a garage while in college decades ago.

When I drove, I reflected afterwards how poorly SOME in the riding public treated me -- I sometimes felt as if I had been wiped off the bottom of somebody's shoe.

It is even WAY more difficult for cab drivers today. The price of gas has skyrocketed, the drivers have to pay upfront (we didn't use to do that when I drove), and the livery drivers -- what used to be called "gypsy" cabs -- who DON'T have to pay for a medallion and are much less regulated, are free to break the law with impunity, cutting into the cab drivers' incomes more than ever.

The cabbies deserve a significant increase. There are plenty of mass transit options for folks in this town - if folks want to take cabs, they should be prepared to pay enough for the drivers to make a decent living.

May. 30 2012 11:59 AM
Robert from NYC

Excellent point Debbie. i live on 10th street and when my 90 yo mom comes to visit she can't get a taxi to take her home to the Bronx, the very south Bronx close to the 3rd Av bridge. The now turn on the "Off Duty" signs at 2:00!! That's the excuse they use. They used to turn those on at 4!!

May. 30 2012 11:58 AM
Jeff Park Slope

This is what happens when you don't allow the market to function when a market can provide a solution. Set an artificial limit on the number of service providers, charge for the privilege to provide a service, inflating the cost of the service (limits on providers), prevent lower income entrants since they can't afford the medallions (when all that they would otherwise need would be a car) figure out what the price of the service should be, figure out who should get how much, it is infinite nuttiness. Too late to end this because if it is ended the medallions will be worthless and the city will need to pay back the cost -at market value or some other value. This should be a warning about what to try to avoid. Not to say that some regulation to ensure safety is not required, just not this.

May. 30 2012 11:58 AM
Robert from NYC

The taxi folks have already priced themselves out of usefulness. Unless there is an emergency or one is rich like radio hosts most folks can't really afford taxis anymore. Any other rate increases without equal salary raises to the common man taxis will just become the chaffers of the rich, in a sense.

May. 30 2012 11:56 AM
Debbie from Brooklyn

This is not related to the current topic, but would you please do a segment on taxi drivers refusing to take passengers to the outer boroughs?

May. 30 2012 11:53 AM

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