Updated 07/12/2012 07:34 PM
TLC Approves First Yellow Cab Fare Hike In Six Years
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The city's Taxi and Limousine Commission on Thursday voted 6-2 with one abstention to approve a fare hike for yellow cabs.
It's the first time fares have been increased since 2006.
The base fare will remain $2.50 but each click of the meter would increase from 40 to 50 cents.
It works out to a 17 percent increase on a typical trip.
The flat rate to John F. Kennedy International Airport from Manhattan jumps from $45 to $52.
Six cents from each trip would go to driver health care.
"It has been six years, they're actually earning less than they were then. A taxi driver today brings home $130 for a twelve hour shift. Now that's twelve hard hours behind the wheel, $130 with no benefits. I think people can appreciate it's time to increase that," said TLC Commissioner David Yassky.
The commission also voted Thursday to review the possible need for a rate hike every two years.
"The public reaction has been in my view overwhelmingly that passengers are prepared to pay more so that the taxi driver can earn a decent living," Yassky added.
Some commissioners opposed the hike because it almost exclusively benefits drivers and not taxi fleet owners, whose costs have increased and who are now responsible for credit card processing fees.
"All segments of the industry need an increase," said Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Elias Arout.
"I don’t believe these rules, as drafted, are fair to the other aspects of the industry, particularly the fleet owners," said Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Nora Marino.
Drivers, who are often at odds with the TLC, celebrated the vote.
"Today is evidence that working people can still win in this society. This is a good day for the working class," said New York Taxi Workers Alliance Executive Director Bhairavi Desai.
Meantime, New Yorkers who spoke with NY1 had mixed reactions about the proposed fare increase.
"We are spending too much money for the gas too, that's why it's good for us. We're paying five percent for the credit card, everybody's using the credit card which is we're not getting nothing," said one cab driver.
"I would not take it. I would take the bus and I'm a disabled person, I would pay $1.10; $1.10 on the train and $1.10 on the bus. I would not take the cab, I'm sorry," said one city resident.
The new rates will now be published in the City Record, followed by a 30-day wait period.
Stickers on the sides of taxis will also have to be replaced and meters re-programmed, meaning the fare hike will likely take effect sometime in September.