New York City taxi drivers will see their first meter increases in a decade following approval by the Taxi and Limousine Commission on Nov. 15. Officials expect the increases to be put in place before the end of the year.
The TLC voted to raise the base fare — the cost to get in a yellow or green cab and sit down — from $2.50 to $3. The unit fare, charged for each 1/5 of a mile or time stopped in traffic, will increase from 50 cents to 75.
Rates for Uber, Lyft and other ride shares will increase 7 percent per trip and 24 percent per mile, numbers in line with those supported by the driver unions.
“Raising taxi fare rates and minimum pay for high-volume drivers is the right thing to do for our city,” said TLC Chairman David Do in a press release. “This is the first taxi fare increase in ten years, and these raises will help offset increased operating expenses and the cost of living for TLC-licensed drivers. We are confident that today’s unanimous Commission vote will keep our taxi and FHV fleets sustainable and ready to serve New Yorkers.”
Unions representing drivers are completely on board.
“Gas prices and expenses have soared the last two years, and rideshare drivers are struggling to make ends meet,” said Brendan Sexton, president of the Independent Drivers Guild, in a statement on the group’s website. Sexton also thanked the Adams administration for its support.
On her group’s Twitter page, Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, also lauded the vote along with some of her members.
“The work remains to get to $25/hour after expenses,” Desai wrote. “We’re going to take the momentum of this raise which comes despite company opposition and use it to power our fight for a job with dignified incomes, job security and retirement.”
In that same thread, NYTWA owner-driver Richard Chow made the economic argument.
“I am driving for 17 years. This is only my 2nd raise,” he wrote. “It will help us manage our life and health.”