Hailing a cab in New York City is about to get more expensive. The ubiquitous yellow cabs are an integral part of life for locals and visitors alike and for the first time since 2006 fares are ticking up.
The initial drop will remain at $2.50 but the "per tick" charge on the meter will be increasing from 40 cents to 50 cents. This will result in an average fare increase of 17% according to the Taxi & Limousine Commission. The flat rate for travel to or from JFK airport will increase to $52 from $45. The surcharge for fares to Newark Airport will increase to $17.50 from $15. These increases are expected to take effect in September 2012.
The fare increase is not trivial at 17% but New York will remain one of the more affordable major cities worldwide to hail a cab. San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Tokyo, London, and Las Vegas are all still more expensive, even with this increase. The average fare for a passenger is expected to rise from $13 to $15.
The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a union representing drivers in the city, offered up mostly positive thoughts on the increase:
"This is a significant step forward in ensuring that men and women who labor 60-hour work weeks, serving half a million people every day, will have a decent shot at earning a livable income for the first time in years... We are glad to see the TLC support our proposal for an increase on the waiting time and mileage, not the drop, so short fares don't subsidize long trips."
Taxi drivers will also see their lease costs increase by $9/month to cover the costs of credit card processing. In exchange for this flat-rate increase the drivers will no longer cede 5% of fares paid by credit cards to the leasing companies which operate the charge terminals. Combined with the fare increase drivers are expected to see their average per-shift income rise to just under $150 for a 12 hour work day.
Photo credits: Yellow Cab via Shutterstock
Seth Miller is an aerophile and a wanderlust. No trip is too short or too long and no destination too near or too far. In addition to closely following the travel loyalty program industry, Seth works to help educate others on the opportunities these programs offer through online travel communities and writes about his travels in his blog, The Wandering Aramean. You can also follow Seth on FaceBook and Twitter.