For the first time in a decade, New York City is considering a fare hike for taxi drivers getting squeezed by record-high inflation. Drivers rallied in May for the raise outside City Hall, while the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) was holding a hearing discussing the issue.
Cab drivers told CBS New York that, in just the past few months, the weekly cost of everything from food to fuel has spiked dramatically. The New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA), a union of yellow cab and for-hire vehicle (FHV) drivers, is asking the city to lift fares while limiting the fees that cabbies have to pay, so that drivers can take home $25 per hour after expenses. The current hourly average is closer to $10 to $12, according to the group.
Currently, it cost $3.30 plus surcharges just to get in a cab. But the drivers don’t get to keep it all.
“Eighty cents of that does not go directly to the driver. Then if you’re going to 96th Street and below there could be a surcharge of $2.50, which goes also to the MTA,” said Bhairavi Desai from the NYTWA.
To enact the raise, the TLC will need to issue a formal fare proposal that then has to be passed by the Board of Commissioners. The increase would amount to as much as $2 more per trip for riders, according to the group. The TLC hasn’t boosted fares since 2012 for yellow taxis, which can pick up passengers in Manhattan, and green cabs, which can pick up passengers in other boroughs but not in the busiest parts of Manhattan.