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Taxi Commission Approves Fare Hike

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New York City yellow taxi, cab, SUV taxi (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

The price of taking a cab will be going up in the fall.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission voted on Thursday to approve a fare hike that would increase the cost of a ride by 17 percent.

The TLC estimates that the average fare of $10.44 would rise to $12.21 after the increase is expected to go into effect in September. The plan increases the mileage and waiting charges, but not the base fare of $2.50.

The flat fee between Manhattan and Kennedy Airport would jump from $45 to $52 and the surcharge to/or from Newark Liberty International Airport would also rise from $15 to $17.50.

Commissioner David Yassky said even though New Yorkers will be paying more, they also realize it’s the right time. “Most passengers that I talked to understand that after six years it’s only reasonable to increase the taxi fare,” Yassky commented.

Six commissioners, including Yassky, voted to approve the hike, two voted no and one abstained.

Cabbies attending the meeting cheered as they learned the measure they fought hard for was passed.

They were also were pleased by several other aspects of the proposal, including replacing the 5 percent per swipe credit card fees with a flat $10.00 fee per shift charge and establishing a river heath fund.

There had been much angling behind the scenes by large taxi fleet owners who said they also deserved an increase in leasing rates because their costs were also rising. Borough Commissioners from Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn appeared to agree with them when they spoke and voted against the plan. Staten Island Commissioner Elias Arout described giving drivers a raise and not the garages “lopsided.”

Michael Woloz, a spokesman with the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade, no stranger to litigating with the city, said they’re reviewing their options. “Time and time again when the TLC has passed unlawful rules we have fought them and the courts have affirmed our position,” Woloz said.

But Bhairavi Desai, head of the drivers group, Taxi Workers Alliance, said not having to share the increase with rich medallion owners was a triumph. “We just defeated the 1 percent. We don’t have their money, their lobbyists, or their P.R. people,” a tearful Desai said. ”Today is evidence that working people can still win in this society.”

The commission said going forward, it would consider lease and fare increases every odd numbered year so that neither side of the industry had to wait so long to for an increase again.

Fares last went up in 2006 when waiting time charges increased. The last time overall cab fees rose was 8 years ago, when a 26 percent increase passed.

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Comments [1]

Waqar Khan from New York City

Firstly, the dough never goes to the driver. Someone who drive for living...I being driving yellowcab since college, still drive part-time...or when I don't have a job. The regulation don't mean anything if no one impose it. The garages, being over-charging the cab-drivers from the start. The Legal lease was/is set at $666, while the garages and broker charge at $900-$950. Even the private medallion owner, charge up to $850. Now where did the dough go to? I even wrote a letter to the Mayor, and the TLC commissioner. This is not something done in secret...100% of the garages, and the brokers, over-charge...anyone care to know where all the money goes?

Here is a breakdown...to breakeven on a slow day, you have to make $220. Now on an average, the taxi driver get about $30 per hour, that's from 5pm to 12pm..after that he can only make $20 per hour...supposed you started the shift at 530pm, and assume, your car don't break down, or no one took you to the JFK or anyother airport, which can make you loose over 2hrs waiting, and about 3hrs transporting....and what you end up making? and now assume, no one took you to the bronx or deep in brooklyn, and assume no one run-out on you....seriously, these facts should be considered...before anyone open their mouth.

Jul. 19 2012 11:26 PM

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