The Voice of the NYC Transportation Industry Current Issue
of Fare Increase
After nearly eight years of increased expenses in the taxi industry, the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission has finally proposed a rate of fare increase. In part, this increase of taxi fares may have been ignited by the sale of additional medallions by New York City. The other reason for the increase is simply that WE DESERVE IT! Read the actual increases on the TLC's industry notice printed in Taxi insider.
We all know the increased costs of living that we've experienced over the last eight years. The prices of a rental apartment have skyrocketed, as has the price of clothing and food. The reality of increased business expenses, including gasoline, vehicle maintenance, liability insurance, the price of a vehicle and workers compensation insurance has burdened this industry for eight long years. At least one of the above factors has made it more difficult for every taxi driver to earn as much money as they did eight years ago, regardless if they lease by the shift, lease a medallion long term or are owner-drivers.
A rate of fare increase is good news for the entire industry. Certain segments of this industry pay for either taxi vehicles, insurance, or repairs. Some pay for all the above including mechanics. Isn't it fair to give these segments (fleets/leasing agents) an increase in income too? Remember, there are no good guys or bad guys. We are all in the same industry and all have faced monetary increases. The taxi industry must strengthen the ties that unite us for any future efforts or positive goals.
Part of the proposal for a "fare adjustment"
calls for a change in the waiting time. The present fare is 30 cents for
every 90 seconds while the proposed waiting time is 40 cents per 120 seconds.
Many night drivers have contacted me regarding the elimination
of the 50-cent night surcharge. Drivers tell me that an additional dollar
between 4p.m. and 8p.m. would have been fine if the 50-cent surcharge
stayed in affect. Apparently traffic is at its' peak during those hours
which means fewer fares per hour between 4p.m. and 8p.m. Some night drivers
say by eliminating the 50 cent surcharge between 8p.m. and 6a.m., income
may be reduced approximately $20 per evening, offsetting a portion of
the increase in the initial "drop" and increased fare in mileage.
Public hearings for this rate of fare increase reportedly will be in March. If you are a driver that has any comment on the proposed rate adjustment, this will be your chance to speak directly to the Commissioners. Register to speak at the public hearing and you will be heard!
Additionally proposed, are service improvements that
include new credit card meters, GPS technology and scratchproof partitions.
Who is going to pay for these improvements? We are. This rate increase
makes it hard enough to recover the increased cost of doing business over
the past eight years. Before we all start recovering the lost expenses,
we may have to buy thousand-dollar meters and new partitions. When and
how does that money get recovered?
Drivers, every one of you told me that you constantly
see FHV's picking up street hails illegally. I strongly urge all drivers
to speak at the public hearing to voice a position of totally eliminating
this illegal practice, in addition to your statements. Illegal street
pick-ups must be eradicated. With no FHV's to pickup street hails, we
will have more business (duh) and less traffic to contend with. My feeling
is that a portion of the money earned from medallion sales, be used exclusively
for enforcement of illegal pick-ups and to impound vehicles and revoke
licenses of those FHV's illegally picking up our street hails. See you
at the TLC hearing.