Cab Surcharge Brings Confusion to Whomever Notices


Cab rides got 50-cents more expensive over the weekend, though you may not have noticed unless you were paying close attention. (Many cabs are still driving around with their old door decals, advertising a $2.50 initial fare.)

One driver, Chibueze Obi, said just one of his passengers said something to him. She looked at her receipt and saw an item for 50 cents labeled 'surcharge.' But knew it was too early for either the rush hour or the night surcharges. That was a running theme among drivers: many passengers haven't noticed, but those that do don't realize that the money doesn't go to cabbies or the garages but to the transit system.

The surcharge is part of the MTA rescue plan that the state legislature approved last May and applies to just about every cab ride originating in New York City except for those that end up in New Jersey. It is expected to raise $86 million once fully implemented next year. If it's coming in under the radar, that may be part of the plan. Democrats in the state Senate came up with the surcharge as one of a number of low-flying taxes and fees that substituted for the more controversial bridge tolls contained in the original proposal for the MTA bailout.

See our other recent coverage here and here.