Dear Taxi Dave

By now, most drivers are noticing the higher cost of living and expenses [related to working in this industry]. Yet the TLC has made no effort to increase fares to help. Looks like 30% of the planet will live on a space station before yellow taxis get a fare increase. Due to the surcharges making taxi rides higher, it is probably feared that a fare increase will result in less ridership in yellows, but I disagree. People have familiarized themselves with Uber and their price gauging methods. A one-time increase of 15% in yellow taxi fares won’t deter the riding public, yellows will still be CHEAPER than app-based companies, on average.

Right now, my net income per day is $150-$200. MY FATHER WAS MAKING THIS IN 1983!!! This is absurd and unacceptable. Not by NYC standards… or my hemorrhoids’. We deserve better.

– Taxi Solomon

Drivers Win Medallion Relief

“As two days turned into five days, I started feeling really weak. Blurred vision, headaches, chills. I started getting really cold. Every day I woke up thinking, ‘Is today going to be a day I’m going to break my promise?’ There’s so many times I just thought, ‘Am I doing a stupid thing?’ There’s many people that told us we’d never get it. But when AOC came down, and other organizations came down, and members of the state council came to give us motivation – they’re the reason why we stayed out there for so long. When we heard we were close… we were like, ‘Is this really going to happen for us?’ When they came out, when we finally got to announce it, it was just pure joy. The hunger stopped. I didn’t feel tired anymore. I was solely emotional.”

– Augustine Tang

“This is a much better deal than what the city was offering us before this great victory the New York yellow cab drivers have achieved. This means we can take our lives back with a peace of mind so that we can serve the City of New York. We can live with some respect and dignity.”

– Victor Salazar
Documented NY

“After a long and painful journey, we made it home to victory… a new dawn, a new beginning for a workforce that has struggled through so much crisis and loss. [Now], we can say owner-drivers have won real debt relief and can begin to get their lives back. Drivers will no longer be at risk of losing their homes, and no longer be held captive to debt beyond their lifetime.”

– Bhairavi Desai
Documented NY

“Taxi workers are the lifeblood of New York City and now many finally have an agreement that treats them with respect and will help them dig out of the rabbit hole of financial ruin. These taxi medallions were marketed as a pathway to the American Dream, but instead became a trapdoor of despair for medallion owners. This relief package not only lays out the best way to support the needs of a community that has been economically devastated but will help to ensure justice is finally delivered.”

– New York Attorney General Letitia James
Shore News Network

A Congestion-Pricing Plan for Yellows and FHVs

“For-hire vehicles… shouldn’t be an afterthought to congestion pricing. They deserve their own policy lane. Since they’re closely regulated, we can devise a granular congestion charge that is, frankly, brilliant. The idea has five parts:

  • Repeal the MTA surcharges that since early 2019 have collected $2.50 per taxi ride ($2.75 for Ubers and Lyfts) that touches the Manhattan taxi zone (everything south of 96th Street).
  • Determine how much money the surcharges have been depositing with the MTA and make that the new scheme’s revenue floor.
  • Charge each FHV passenger trip a set rate – more in daytime, less at night – for every minute the vehicle is traveling in the Manhattan taxi zone. Set the rate so the total annual revenue equals that from the surcharge.
  • No entry fee for FHVs, since that function will be performed by part 3.
  • Additionally charge Uber and Lyft for each minute their vehicles are anywhere in the zone without a passenger, to discourage vehicle stockpiling in the congested CBD.

Charging the for-hires for each passenger-minute in the Manhattan taxi zone is quintessential congestion pricing – and more effective against Manhattan congestion than the MTA’s one-size-fits-all FHV surcharge.”

– Charles Komanoff
Streets Blog NYC

How to Properly Build Out an EV Infrastructure

“President Joe Biden has set a target of electric vehicles (EVs) making up half of all passenger car sales by 2030… [but] we need a national reboot that builds the kind of infrastructure drivers would actually need if half of all cars were converted to EVs. It has to be fast, seamless and flexible for the consumer. It has to be capable of efficiently keeping large fleets of everything from car services to delivery vehicles charged and on-the-road when they need to be. And it has to encompass the needs of dense cities like New York.”

– Moshe Cohen
City Limits