They don’t like hybrid taxis or going outside of Manhattan, but New York City drivers do want the Taxi & Limousine Commission to approve a steep cab fare hike. The proposed raise would be the first in seven years and would see fares go up by approximately 15 percent across the board.
According to reports, the hike would see the mileage rate jump from $2 to $2.50 and would include a $1 morning rush-hour surcharge. Furthermore, trips from Manhattan to JFK would go up by $10 to $55 a ride, not including tips or tolls. The Daily News notes that the average three-mile trip would likely cost around $12.50, a steep price to pay for a short jaunt. “With higher gas prices and higher cab lease prices, drivers’ earnings are below a livable wage and below the minimum wage after working a 12-hour shift,” Taxi Workers Alliance Executive Director Bhairavi Desai said
Rider reaction to the proposal, as WNYC found out, was mixed. Some New Yorkers support a hike if it leads to a better standard of living for drivers, but others are wary of granting the raise without ensuring better service. Rider Dan Gross told the tale a cab driver who refused to take him to his destination. “It happened to me the other day. I get into a cab, tell him where I’m going and he said he couldn’t take me there,” Gross said. “I want to help them but they have to help me. I think it starts there.”