NEW YORK (PIX11) — For the first time in a decade, New York City is planning to increase meter rates and surcharges to help cab drivers with the increasing cost of inflation and gas prices.
Dieufort Rock has been a taxi driver for 30 years and hasn’t seen a raise in the last 10 years.
“We barely survive,” Rock said. “Everything went up, except for the fare.”
It used to cost $18 to fill up his tank. Now it costs double that amount, but he’s driving half the number of passengers he did before the pandemic.
The New York Taxi Workers Alliance is calling the city’s proposed meter hike a win. The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission says average passenger fares will increase by 23 percent, while driver pay would go up by a third.
The initial fee for a street hail would increase from $2.50 up to $3. Hailing a cab during rush hour between 4-8 pm will cost you $1.50 more, for a total of $2.50.
The JFK flat fare of $52 increases to $65 under the plan, not including tolls and other fees. Riding from Manhattan to LaGuardia will have a $5 surcharge and the Newark surcharge increases by $2.50
Taxi drivers said the modest increase for passengers will be meaningful for drivers. They still worry that people may stop taking taxis. There are around 13,500 cabs with medallions in the city, but only about half of them are on the road.