Taxicab drivers have struggled to compete with ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, the pandemic and inflation, and the rate hike was approved in hopes that more drivers would return to the industry, NewsNation affiliate PIX11 reported.
“Raising taxi fare rates and minimum pay for high-volume drivers is the right thing to do for our city. This is the first taxi fare increase in 10 years, and these raises will help offset increased operating expenses and the cost of living for TLC-licensed drivers,” TLC Commissioner David Do said. “We are confident that today’s unanimous Commission vote will keep our taxi and FHV fleets sustainable and ready to serve New Yorkers.”
The base rate for New York City taxi cabs will increase from $2.50 to $3. Surcharges will increase from $1 to $2. Also, a new $5 surcharge will be added to all trips to and from LaGuardia Airport.
The JFK Airport flat rate for taxi cab rides to and from Manhattan will jump from $52 to $70. And for trips going to the airport in Newark, New Jersey, the surcharge jumps from $17.50 to $20.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission said the higher fares will increase pay for drivers by 33%. The extra costs and poor pay have led many drivers to take up work elsewhere. This summer city records indicate that nearly half of the city’s 14,000 yellow taxis are no longer in operation.
“There hasn’t been an increase on the Yellow Cab meter in 10 years for the drivers,” Bhairavi Desai with the NY Taxi Workers Alliance said. “You know inflation has gone up which means drivers have been having to choose between paying for groceries and paying to gas up.”
NewsNation affiliate PIX11 contributed to this report.