Home Asides For the summer, an impending cab fare hike

For the summer, an impending cab fare hike

by Benjamin Kabak

New Yorkers could be in for a fare hike of another kind later this summer as the Taxi & Limousine Commission is gearing up to boost cab fares by around 20 percent, according to reports. The price jump would be the taxi industry’s first since 2006, and the Commission is considering the hike at the request of workers who are feeling the pinch of ever-rising gas prices and other associated costs. “The fare hasn’t changed since 2006, so it is reasonable for taxi drivers and fleet owners to put this on the table,” David Yassky, T&LC chairman, said. “We will consider their petitions over the next couple of months.”

The taxi rate increases, likely to hit this summer, a few months ahead of the next MTA fare hike, would boost the average ride from $11.82 to just over $14, and the rate to Manhattan from JFK could climb above $50. Drivers and owners, though, are at odds over one aspect of the hike. Car owners have asked for a similar 20 percent jump in the lease cap for taxis, but the drivers do not support such a hike as it would negate any increase in their take-home pay.

As an infrequent taxi rider, I’m not in love with the idea of paying more for these rides, but at the same time, cab drivers need to earn their living as well. The Taxi and Limousine Commission will host a hearing on the rate hike at the end of the month before moving forward, and it’s unclear what impact this will have on the Outer Borough street hail plan.

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Andrew Smith May 22, 2012 - 1:34 pm

Given the astonishingly high price of taxi medallions, there’s clearly huge money to be earned in the taxi industry at current fare levels. If cab drivers are not happy — and I can see why they wouldn’t be — then they should negotiate better deals with cab and medallion owners rather than riders. But, of course, that won’t happen because cab and medallion owners can control politicians and mere riders have no power at all.

Seth Rosenblum May 22, 2012 - 4:44 pm

They riders have no power at all? They can choose whether or not to get into these cabs, call a livery car, walk, bike, or take transit. This increase in fares will only push more people out of cabs and help lower the congestion on the street. The cab companies should be able to charge whatever they want, as long as the price is uniform.

Larry Littlefield May 22, 2012 - 8:39 pm

Bikeshare. In this environment, with every existing institution being pillaged by those who control it, best to dedicate yourself to moving under your own power.

Chris May 22, 2012 - 1:53 pm

Believing this will help cab drivers is like believing McDonald’s employees benefit when McNugget prices go up. This is regulatory capture in its purest form. You can be sure that when Phase 2 of the SAS is cancelled for lack of funds, medallion owners will still be reaping their hundreds of millions a year in state-provided benefits.

Alon Levy May 22, 2012 - 10:23 pm

If taxi drivers don’t get the extra fares, then how do they get paid at all?


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