Mayor Bill de Blasio is backing a plan to hike taxi rates by 30 cents a trip in both yellow and green cabs. The increase would help taxi owners pay for making their cabs accessible for wheelchairs. NY1’s Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
Naveed Mohammad has been driving a cab for almost two decades.
"I'm very sick and tired,” he said.
He says taxi drivers have their own problems making ends meet and doesn't think making fares higher will help.
“We cannot make any money, the people is taking trains and buses instead of taxis because they say the taxi fare is too high,” Mohammad said.
Fares could get higher next year. Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to add a 30 cent surcharge to pay for an increase in the amount of wheelchair accessible taxis. Most drivers who spoke to NY1 don't like the idea. One does.
“I think it's good to pay for the wheelchair, the wheel chair people are disabled,” said the driver.
Right now there are only a few hundred wheelchair accessible cabs in the city. Under a settlement reached during the Bloomberg administration, that number would rise to 7,500.
All but one taxi rider we spoke with is on board with how de Blasio wants to pay for that.
“No,” said one New Yorker.
“I think I would cause I have somebody in my family who is a little handicapped so I'd do it,” said another.
“I think creating a society like an equal society for handicapped people is a necessity, but it's definitely going to stink ring a college student and having to pay even more,” said another.
The plan requires approval from the Taxi and Limousine Commission. A meeting is scheduled for late April. If passed, it would go into effect next year.