Is a cab fare increase fair?

 

Everyone at the Taxi and Limousine Commission seems to think so – so prepare to shell out some extra cash for a cab.

 

The TLC hosted a public hearing today to discuss whether to increase cab fare, which hasn't been hiked since 2006.

 

Since then, drivers say, gas prices have skyrocketed, and credit card machines were installed in their cabs, taking away a 5 percent fee of each fare.

 

And TLC Commissioner David Yassky agrees, although he stressed that the TLC has to balance drivers' concerns with the added burdens of the passenger.

 

"It's simple," he said. "Gas has gone way up. That comes right out of the drivers' pockets."

Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said drivers have suffered a 25 percent loss in income since 2006.

"The expenses are going up," said John McDonagh, a cabbie since 1977. "We've been hit so badly on the gas."

McDonagh said he wasn't convinced that any increase would go to his wallet.

"There should be an increase, but where is it going?" he said.

In its proposal, the Taxi Workers Alliance proposes adding a morning rush hour surcharge of $1, Monday through Friday from 6 to 10 a.m., along with adding 10 cents to the mileage and waiting times, bringing both from 40 cents to 50 cents. They do not propose increasing the base fare of $2.50.