New York City taxi fare hike coming by September

Get ready to shell out a bit more for that ride home.

The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission is expected to approve tomorrow what will be the first taxi fare hike in six years.

Taxi drivers at a public hearing on Monday were mostly in support of the agency’s proposed increase of 17 percent.

Currently, all cab’s have an initial rate of $3.00, with 40 cents for each additional half mile, or 60 seconds of being stopped or moving in slow traffic.

The new increase would only apply to the per mile charge, raising it to 50 cents.

The average trip, costing about $12.25, would now be $14.00, said Allan Fromberg, spokesman for the TLC.

Trips between Manhattan and JFK would also rise from a flat rate of $45 now to $52, plus tolls.   

The 9-member board is set to vote at 10 a.m. tomorrow and only needs five “yes” votes to pass.

The increase would go into effect as early as September.

The TLC said about 6 cents from each trip would also go to a new health care and disability benefit fund for drivers.

“This raise is deservedly so,” said veteran driver Berford Simmons. “We are a hard working people, we help everyone move around the city.”

The TLC estimated that taxi drivers make $130 in a 12-hour shift, an amount that is 24 percent less than they made in 2006 when accounting for inflation. Several drivers shouted that they actually make less, and wanted to see the fare increase even more than 17 percent.

“[Taxi driving] is becoming an increasingly harder and more stressful job,” another driver told the TLC at Monday’s hearing. “Cab drivers are suffering.”

Several drivers added they would have also liked to see a morning rush hour and late night surcharge.

NYC cab fares not the priciest

Even with the fare raise, NYC’s cab rates would still be lower than Los Angeles, London and Tokyo, according to the TLC.

Average cab fare in Washington, D.C.: Between $5 and $10
Average cab fare in New York currently: Just over $10
Average cab fare in New York (under fare hike): About $12
Average cab fare in San Francisco: $14
Average cab fare in London: More than $15
Average cab fare in Tokyo: More than $20

Source: Taxi and Limousine Commission



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