|Have something to tell us at The Call? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll post it to our blog.|
If you've watched my show or read this blog over the years, you know I think there are too many taxis on the streets of Manhattan. During rush hour, every third car is yellow. I've given up thinking the Taxi and Limousine Commission would reduce the number of medallions to reduce traffic. Medallions bring in too much revenue to fall victim to the "carbon footprint" politicians love to talk about. So, to reach my goal, I support raising fares. In fact, quadruple them. More people may walk or take mass transit, and supply and demand will bring yellow taxis to a reasonable level.
Yellow taxi drivers want a raise. Cabbies and medallion owners are asking the Taxi and Limousine Commission to raise fares in July by as much as 20%. The current base fare of $2.50 hasn't changed since 2006. Drivers cite higher gas prices, credit card fees, and competition from the new five-borough livery fleet as reasons why the increase is justified.
It costs about $12 to travel nearly three miles with the current fare structure. A 20% hike would make that trip more than $14. On May 31st, the TLC will begin a series of public hearings on the proposal. What do you say?
Should the TLC approve a fare hike of 20%? After six years, do taxi drivers and medallion owners deserve a raise? If the fare hike goes through, would you change your travel routine as a result? What suggestions do you have to improve the taxi industry?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
From an economic viewpoint I understand about rising gas prices but regular people are hurting too and this would be a burden for the average person. Added to the fact that they won't take passengers to the outer boroughs or pick up certain citizens and I'd never take one of those cabs.
Good, I think the fare should go up 50% that would eliminate a lot of the congestion and energy cost that the yellow cabs generate, let's all walk more, or hop on a train.
Is a fairer fare fair to everyone? First do the math.
There's no question that the cost of operating a taxi cab has increased along with the costs that we all have to bear, but should taxi fares be increased at a time when so many taxi riders are being hit with pay cuts, job loses, rent hikes, and other erosions of their financial security? And how many other occupational groups have not seen an income increase since 2006? Does the fact that cab fares in several other U.S. cities are higher entitle NYC cabbies to parity, and can the market sustain this without a concomitant falloff in ridership?
Add to this the fact that the flood of new wheelchair accessible cabs will likely increase the number of disabled riders, many of whom are on reduced or fixed incomes, and we are confronted with a conundrum in which the economic impact of a fare increase may be a double-edged sword.
Yes, cabbies do deserve a fairer fare, but it's important that everyone does the math before rushing to judgment on this question.
Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn
As a frugal person who knows the price and value of everything, I never take cabs, although I hacked my way through college in the suburbs. Unless youre pretentious, cant ride a bike, walk, drive or take mass transit, theres no need. Ill take cabs when bloomberg has gondolas on both rivers like in Venice.
If the cost of living goes up, the price of gas, maintenance of the vehicle, then they need a raise... Why is it when the poor or a small business needs an increase in wages we read of the complaints? You do not have to take a taxi... There are alternatives...
What about a fuel-buyers-group for cabbies? Bring gas prices down to a fixed or discounted price?
Here we go again with yet another public hearing so that they can insult everyone once again. I do believe that by allowing the cabs to go into the outer borough it will cut into their profits. NOW THE PROBLEM WITH THIS PROBLEM ALWAYS BOILS DOWN TO ONE PERSON AND ONE PERSON ONLY AND THAT'S BLOOMBERG. HE SHOULD GO AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE AND TAKE ALL OF HIS CRONIES WITH HIM. HE IS LOOKING SO HARD TO LEAVE A LEGACY WHICH IS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN ANYWAY. AND SHOULD DO US ALL A FAVOR AND STAY OUT OF OUR BUSINESS AND CONCENTRATE ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS TO US IN THE OUTER BOROUGHS.
SOMEONE IN CHARGE THE LAST TIME WAS ALL FOR THIS TAXI SQUARE DANCE AND MENTIONED THAT IT WILL BE PART OF BLOOMBERG'S LEGACY. IT’S JUST SO JUVENILE. I ASK ANYONE THAT GIVE ME AN ANSWER AS TO WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO OUR DOOR TO DOOR PRIVATE CAB SERVICE THAT WE HAD FOR YEARS AND YEARS.
Thank you John,
I absolutely feel that cab drivers deserve to make a fair living wage, and I'm sure that 20% is more than reasonable. Unfortunately I, like many others, hardly make a fair living wage, and with such a large increase I'd have to stick strictly to livery cabs, which are already much cheaper for time and distance. I wish the MTA fee could be taken away and that money could go to the drivers. I'm sure the drivers and customers could better utilize it.
Sara F, Brooklyn
20% fair hike is just too steep for one hike. They should spend that 20% on re-teaching these cab workers how to drive because they are the cause of so many accidents around the city, they are dangerous drivers and refuse to take them.
[THE FOLLOWING EMAIL CAME IN DURING THE SHOW]
Can you talk about what could be done to provide more child friendly programming on Taxi TV?
Jon in TriBeCa
[THE TLC COMMISSIONER WAS WATCHING AND RESPONDED BELOW]
The programming is chosen by 2 private companies - each has half of the cabs. When we see something that is clearly inappropriate, we intervene - but otherwise we aren't involved. We are trying (on a pilot basis) using Ipads for credit card processing - that might allow more customer choice in programming.
David Yassky, TLC Commissioner
All I can say is O My God - Taxi drivers work hard and deserve a raise, but 10 percent is more in line. Also, there is a $1.50 surcharge on top of the fare already.
allow for a fare hike to those owners of electric cars only. impose a city surcharge on all gas using cars. too many taxi/limo cars in the city.
TAXI FARES GOING UP, SUBWAY FARE GOING UP, GAS GOING UP EXACTLY WHO IS GOING TO LEAVE THE CITY IF THE MINIMUM WAGE RAISED MR BLOOMBERG.
The Fleet Owners Know They Have A Monopoly..The TLC should be investigated. I Whole- Heartely agree with advocates such as Ms.D....It's A Lend-Lease Issue
DMD in Wash. Hgts
I have a feeling this is a result of the deal made by Bloomberg's admin and yellow cab union as a balancing act for allowing the limousines to act as yellow cabs. It's most likely part of the political theater where everyone wins but the strap-hanger.
Zoran from Williamsburg, Brooklyn
I wouldn't mind paying more if I got more. New York cabs are an embarrassment. Half the drivers don't speak English and have no idea where they are going. Every cab is different. Some you can't even sit in if you are over 5 feet tall. Go to London to see how a cab service should be run.
I'm all for the working class and for a living wage, but this is personal. I am a lifelong New Yorker - and am appalled at the abhorrent behavior of cab drivers. How about they stop menacing the streets of NY and THEN we'll think about it?
My father was a cab driver in the 1950's. He told me that, at that time, taxis were the "knights of the road" who considered themselves ambassadors for NYC. They were courteous, followed the rules of the road and didn't, say, cut across 4 lanes of traffic and stop short to get a fair. I was recently HIT while riding my bike by a cab driver who was speeding and making an illegal turn. Any New Yorker can tell you that they don't have positive a view of taxi drivers - with good reason.
They want a raise? I'm all for it if they learn act like human beings on the road. I would like a raise too... but if I acted like them, I would be FIRED... not rewarded for bad behavior.
Tara from Queens.
Hi my name is Rishi and I don't want to see any price increase because there is no justice for the passengers or for the cab drivers. The organizations will just take advantage of the cabbys it's the same thing they do to university tuition.
TLC drivers deserve an increase and have so for years. They and they alone run this city and collectively can bring it to a grinding halt. TLC and DMV fines are ridiculous. Ask Commissioner Yaasky what he thinks about these. Dos the public even know how much TLC collects each year for NYC? Does anyone ever question these? Give them this modest 20% increase and they will give you the world.
The yellow cabs dont deserve an increase most of the time they won't pick up minorities.
Many of your callers are a bunch of cry babies. If the MTA and landlords can raise their rates so can cab drivers. No one is holding a gun to your head and making you take a cab. You can always grow a beard waiting for a bus like the rest of us. Give the cabbies a break
Upper West side
Hello ... I am for a 20 percent increase in taxi base fare. How about at least 70percent from owner givebacks and the rest from actual fare hike. Why? Is it not obvious? LIVABLE WAGES! Such wages can increase morale and promote good/civil behavior.
As a 40 year resident of the upper west side, I have to say that I have always tried to use public transportation , especially if I am traveling more than 2 miles from home. I also own a car, Which I hate to use in the city for all the right reasons... Therefore, in the past few years , if necessary, I will take a cab , if time is short, the walk to the subway is long, or I'm needing that "quiet time" a taxi provides . However , the expense of a taxi is quite high enough , especially in the afternoons, or early evening, when additional charges are in effect...
I honestly feel that taxis are a very expensive luxury , as it is. Obviously , I will defiantly stop Using them for " that little bit of personal time" , between appointments. Instead , I will use more subways , busses, or walk . MORE ! And be that much more Exausted
Catherine, Upper West Side , Manhatten
I haven’t taken a cab since the late 1950s when I discovered that they were cheating all of their customers: the amount of the fare that was painted on the cab’s doors stated something like 25¢ per mile, but when stopped at a light or in a traffic jam, the meter kept increasing the fare amount. The only way I would ever take a cab again is knowing in advance EXACTLY how much the fare will be (zoned fares), like when you call a neighborhood car service. Additionally, you also know in advance that a car service will take you where you want to go, not like people I see hailing cabs and getting turned down over and over. With all the fixed-price car sharing apps that use GPS coming out on smart phones, the yellow cab is a dinosaur just waiting to die.
PS: Since when is driving a car all day considered “back-breaking” work as some viewers have stated, if cabbies ever got a real job with a boss hanging over their shoulder all day yelling work harder, they’d really appreciate how easy they have it.
Don't ask me when the last time I took a cab, and it is not for lack of trying. You try to hail a cab, they slow down crack their window and ask where you are going, then they keep driving. I get so pissed I just walk to the subway. Maybe if they would pick up fares they may make some money, and we would not need black cars in manhattan.
The commission knows 20% is too high but they are good negotiators who are asking for more than they really want. They'll look like saints when they drop the increase to 12%. Real problem is that this will lead to more overcrowding and make bad subway service even worse. Colorado here I come!
Jeff in the LES
I used to take cabs, but no longer because it is way too expensive. If the drivers need more money (and I am sure they do), it should come from the companies and owners. Not the hard working middle to lower class who already are suffering from this poor economy. Price of everything is going up and employers are not paying anyone; we are over worked and under paid. The pay increases should come directly from the companies. If anything, the fares for the public should come down!
My vote is that fares drop 20% and the employers should increase the wages for their drivers.
Cab drivers are among the rudest new Yorkers. Additionally they are dangerous drivers. They should have more incentives for being safe and courteous. If they were not so rude, they would make up for low wages in tips. I always try to use my bike or walk. Unfortunately the cabs try to run you over when you ride your bike.
Lucia in Tribeca
i can assure you that if the increase goes up to 20% i will always pay with my credit card. I pay cash now, don't even know how to use the credit card, but it already costs me $13-$15 a day to get to work and if it goes up to $15-$18, i won't always have that. the thing that really annoys me they keep talking about the credit card fees, but i haven't used one so why should i subsidize those that do? And I still haven't figured out why I have to subsidize the subway with 50 cents of my ride. If I wanted to, or could take the subway, I would. A small raise, okay, gas has gone up, but 20 percent?
Nancy in the west village
The cab drivers struggle just like any other New Yorker, but I don't believe that they deserve a fire hike. If they took everyone that needed a cab instead of turning them away due to color or where they live they could actually make a larger profit. They are menaces... ask anyone who drives around the city. They cut people off and cause accidents, the ride is uncomfortable and the drivers are rude majority of the time. If they do raise the fare, they should spend some of it on re-training their employees because they put everyone in peril.
Taking a cab in the city is a luxury and you pay for the luxuries you want. End of story . I take a taxi for emergencies only
As a poorly-paid musician that has to haul my equipment around NYC in cabs, I am sorry to say that this fare hike will definitely be affecting some tips in the future. The minority of drivers who occasionally help me load and unload the car will still get great tips though!
South Slope Brooklyn
As far as the cab ride I think overall the drivers deserve a raise but the fare increase won't give the drivers more money. The drivers generally work very hard but a lot of them complain about where they take you and they complain about using a credit/debit card. Despite the fact NYC is pretty safe it doesn't make sense to carry a lot of cash or pay an ATM fee. Better service and less complaints would make things better
I think most of the folks who say they won't take cabs if the fares are raised are being disingenous. Anyone who thinks that obviously has much better luck than I do trying to hail a cab in midtown during rush hour or downtown during the weekend. This is much ado about nothing.
Joe from the financial district
how about a variable rate? normal drivers spend a different amount on their trips depending on variables like gas, why not do the same thing with taxis? How about we finally put a toll on the bridges and stop this ridiculousness.
Drivers do not deserve any kind of increase. They're rude, racist, and lie so they won't pick up fares that head to the outer boroughs. Maybe if they off their cell phones, it might be a consideration.
It might go along way in solving the problem 10 cabdrivers per one-bedroom apartment in New York City.
The problem is that a taxi medallion is now selling for $750,000 (I asked a driver today). If they are foolish enough to pay $750,000 then they shouldn't be able to raise their rates so that the public can finance their bad business decision. If a hot dog vendor chose to pay $1,000,000 for his license should the public be forced to pay $100 for a hot dog?
The financers are making the money. If the drivers can't make enough money with the current rates, then they are overpaying for the medallion. It's a simple business principle.
They might just price themselves out of business. I am a taxi user and have cut back a lot. I also group errands and appointments by location much more than ever before to decrease the amount of trips I take to any one area.