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There was a common theme among viewers tonight: Taxi drivers should get a raise, but they also should adjust their attitudes. The majority of New Yorkers we spoke with tonight agreed cab drivers have a tough gig...they ride around in a car all night, deal with difficult passengers, put their lives in danger in some instances, and have to shoulder the rising cost of gas and credit card transaction fees. Our viewers seemed empathetic to all of these factors. But, at the same time, they feel drivers need to do their part to be more courteous and respectful of passengers. I think that seems fair. Don't you?
City officials are expected to approve a taxi fare increase this week that would boost the average cost of a ride by 17 percent. The Taxi and Limousine Commission heard testimony about the proposed hike today, which would be the first increase in six years. The new rate would help boost drivers’ income, who have been hit with soaring gas prices and credit card transaction fees in recent years.
Under the proposal, the base charge of $2.50 would not increase, but the mileage charge would jump from 40 cents to 50 cents, and the flat rate fee to or from John F. Kennedy Airport would jump from $45 to $52. Also, six cents from each trip would go toward a health care and disability fund for drivers.
Large fleet owners say they are losing out under the plan because it does not increase the leasing fee drivers pay. The proposal calls for the elimination of the five percent fee drivers must pay each time a credit card is swiped. Instead, taxi owners would be able to charge a flat fee of $9 per shift. Fleet owners say the $9 charge is far less than the five percent, making them responsible for more credit card fees.
Do you support a taxi fare increase? How will this affect the way you get around town? After six years, do drivers deserve a boost in income? Who should be responsible for credit card processing fees, taxi owners or drivers?
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Everyone could use a raise, unfortunately we don't get one just because
we want or need it.
Now, the public should pay for a taxi drivers health insurance and
disability - No Way !
Every small business is hurt by credit card fees - I don't see anyone
helping them, least of all the credit card companies.
I don't support the increase by any means.
Esmerelda, East Village, NYC
increase the fare it is only fair
I'LL NEVER TAKE A YELLOW CAB 100%.
JOE, BAY TERRACE
NOW THESE DRIVERS THEY DO DESERVE A RAISE BUT DO WE ALSO HAVE TO PAY FOR THEIR MEDICAL. WHATEVER THEY DO IT NEVER SEEMS TO BE A STRAIT FORWARD AMOUNT OF TRANSACTIONS IT ALWAYS SEEMS TO HAVE A GIMMICK ATTACHED TO
EVERYTHING. WHERE DOES ALL OF THIS MONEY GO?
NOW FROM WHAT I CAN SEE THEY SHOULD HAVE LEFT US ALL ALONE WITH OUR PRIVATE CAB COMPANIES THAT WE HAVE USED FOR MAYBE 35 OR 40 YEARS AND WHAT I DON’T UNDERSTAND IS WHY ARE THERE SO MANY ACCESS-A-RIDE VANS EMPTY AND I NOTICED ALSO THAT THEY HAVE PASSENGER CARS. I NOTICED THAT ONE THAT I DID SEE WAS EMPTY AND PARKED ON MY BLOCK. WE HAVE LOST OUR SAFETY, CONVENIENCE AND FRIENDSHIP WE ALL HAD WITH THE PRIVATE COMPANIES.
YOU TELL ME. WHAT GIVES HERE.
NO ! I don't support taxi fare INCREASE, never, they DON'T deserve an increase. Times and times over these taxi drivers were unfair and operates like robbers, a relative of mine who don't know NY much took a yellow cab from JFK to Ozone pk, the driver keeps going around and around, driving as if he don't know the place so that the meter can move up to more than a normal taxi fare from JFK to Ozone. My question is, why must a driver who don't know NY areas be EMPLOYED ? They normally use that trick on some who do not know NY much. They are a pack of crooks !
I DON'T SUPPORT NO TAXI FARE INCREASE!
The price should be allow to fluctuate based on fuel cost and maintenance expenses. Why do other businesses have the right to raise prices for the goods and services to maintain profit margins and the people operating the taxis do not. Let us not impoverish the taxi drivers and owners. Allow them to receive a living fare box that reflects the reality. Furthermore, this is not a necessary expense for everyone who poor and those who could not afford it. We have a great transportation system and our feet. If one would like to use a taxi it, they should pay a fare price.
How many wall street CEO's would tolerate not receiving a bonus or a raise in years and or see there profit margins dwindle similar to what is going on with the taxis? What would they do?
Let the taxi drivers and the owners receive a fare that is fair.
Clinton Hill, Brooklyn New York
The best thing that could happen to taxi services is for them to be removed from the autocratic power of government. Where in the Constitution is government authorized to operate or regulate taxis, limos, buses, subway systems, etc. The government monopoly on transportation must be busted up.
Port Richmond, SI
they do not deserve a raise for several reasons;
1. they don't help passengers in and out of car or help put luggage in the trunk
2. they dress in T-shirts, shorts, sandals.
3 they race up and down the street
4. they don't pull over to the curb to let passenger out they stop in the middle of street and hold up traffic.
5. when people flag them down, once they say they need to go to airport, the taxi driver says they are off duty
6. they don't put air conditioner on so passengers ride is comfortable
I don't think they deserve a raise. They deserve a foot up where the sun don't shine.
if they changed how they do the above then maybe then they would deserve a raise
Wesley from Queens
No more cabs for me. Way too expensive.
Anyone who thinks that raising the fare for a taxi ride is going to raise the standard of living for the taxi drivers that deserve it is missing the larger point. We need to overhaul the system completely to a wage system instead of the system we have now where drivers are independent contractors who pay astronomical rates for their own gas and their own medallions cutting into their income causing them to feel that they have to drive like NASCAR racers to get to a fare so that they can make their $100 for the day. NYC bus drivers make $30 an hour and are the safest drivers in the city.
I am 100 percent in favor of Commissioner Yasky's fare-increase. The garage owners are multi-millionaires; driver's deserve and need an increase in take-home pay. Anyone who doesn't agree with the increase should get a Metro card or a pair of sneakers. No one is entitled to low taxi rates.
Yes, raise the fare because middle income people rarely take cabs anyway. But don't give the owners a penny more.
I totally believe the cab drivers deserve a raise. BUT they must stop talking on their cell phones when they drive. In spite of the law, they are still using their cell phones and when you tell them to stop, they get angry.
The Taxi drivers do not deserve a raise. Often I experience back to back taxis with off-duty lights on stop to ask me where I'm going. Are they off-duty or are they profiling people for a certain type of customer?
Many drivers rent their taxis, perhaps medallion owners should charge the renters less for their cabs so the drivers will have more personal income.
High fares make it difficult for me to give a decent tip.
Taxi drivers complain it's tough out there, well it isn't so easy for everyone else either. The victim mentality should stop.
The drivers should also follow the rules and drive more courteously. Not pick and choose where they want to go, not providing air conditioning, going off route to jack up the fare, having defective credit card machines, driving and stopping discourteously and they are always on the phone while they're driving.
In my work, I don't get a raise unless I earn it. They have not.
Upper East Side
I personally do not think they (cab drivers) should get an increase. First, they are selective as to whom they pick and THEY ALWAYS REFUSE TO GO OTHER BOROUGHS PLUS THEY NEVER SAY THANK YOU WHEN YOU LEFT A TIP WITH YOUR FARE.....
mYRNA - BAY rIDGE, bROOKLYN
If drivers are going to get such a high increase, a training program should be put in place to better service their passengers in a courteous manner that it reflects the industry. If they do get this raise it should be given in increments of 5 - 6% over 3 years. This would allow the passenger to adapt to the increase without such a hard blow.
NO, I do not support the taxi cab fare hike at all. l will tell you how this will affect me -- I Will Never Take a Cab Again! The only time that I will ever consider it is on an emergency basis only. The economy is in dire straits, people are out of work or living paycheck to paycheck and everything in Manhattan is increasing. No, they should not be allowed to raise their fares!!! Enough -- we need a break. Taxi cab drivers are not the only ones suffering in this economy.
Not sure I agree with the rate increase. They have received much more money from me because of the credit card system, for without it I simply wouldn't take cabs. (I take cabs at night when I work late. ) They will ultimately lose money from me because the increase will push the cost over my threshold.
I also feel they don't drive safely and are constantly causing traffic problems: cutting cars off, not signaling, and simply clogging up the roads. The most efficient I have ever seen New York roads/transportation is during a taxi strike. Taxis seem ultimately unnecessary to me. Taxis often drive away before I shut the door when I step out! I am usually repulsed by the way the drivers smell, sometimes to the point of being nauseous. I wouldn't get hired if I was with clients like that, never mind get a raise. Basically, unhappy with service.
They shouldn't increase fare hikes, they need to decrease the amount of taxis in the city, traffic is horrible because of them… i feel no sympathy, they don't produce anything they just give service.
yes i think that new york drivers deserve a raise. it hurts sitting around all day in one spot especially in a car. in addition they have no medical insurance
I am ok with rates going up...
As long as
1) service gets better with it
2) number of cabs go up so that it's not impossible to hail a cab during the evening hours.
Sam from Astoria
I'd only be supportive of a hike (10% is more appropriate) if they would stop playing games with Brooklyn-bound riders. I realize that they deserve a raise due to increased gas prices and normal increase in cost of living; however it's currently tough to be supportive when I typically have to negotiate with 2+ taxis before I find one that will bring me to Brooklyn (Brooklyn heights-just over bridge!) if they'd agree to stop the games in return for a modest rate increase then I agree.
the callers you put on for the most part think that cab drivers do not deserve a raise. Wow.
Three of the callers kept saying "they" are dangerous, "they" don't speak English, "they" do not know where "they" are going.
Lumping every taxi driver into that "they" is really ignorant.
I am certain that there are taxi drivers that drive in an aggressive and dangerous manner.
I know that some cab drivers struggle with the English language.
I realize that not every cab driver knows all routes and streets in New York City.
I have experienced all of the above. I am a New Yorker that takes taxis.
Many taxi drivers are hard working New Yorkers who provide a vital service to the city.
The work "they" do is difficult, dangerous, and for the most part unrewarding.
I think that their pay should be pegged to the Federal COLA each year. No one should have to wait six years for a raise when every other expense around them climbs relentlessly.
Unless each of the callers who condemned the raise can state with honesty that they too have not gotten any increase in salary in the last six years, the callers should feel shame and start looking to see what happened to their compassionate side.
Fares should go up at least 17%. More would be better. The higher fares go up, the more people will use the subways, walk, and/or bike, instead of taking taxis. Taxis call congestion. They cruise the streets looking for fares and polluting our air. Raise the fares 50%, or even more.
i think they deserve the raise. But they do need to drop their attitude. They need to be polite to the customers and also DROP THE PHONE CALLS. its annoying to hear them talking while you are back seat. Just like any other job you are not allowed to be on the phone , its their job when they are driving so they shouldn't be on the phone.
I suspect that if you ask any New Yorker if he/she believes they should pay more for ANYTHING, you will receive a resounding no. If you asked them, "do you think YOU deserve a 17% raise in your current job?", the resounding answer would most likely be a resounding YES.
the increase of cab driver's fare is an important idea because it will help cab driver compensate what the garages are taking from them. the drivers are paying $132 for a thursday shift. in addition, they have to pay $5 on each $100 dollars credit card transaction and they are forced to tip taxi dispatchers into order to car to work. at the end we go home with little in pocket.
Diabate from Harlem
New Yorkers are more than happy to pay double for an illegal livery cab. More needs to be done to help taxis get through traffic. Taxi and bus lanes, places we can turn etc.
NO ! I don't support taxi fare INCREASE, never, they DON'T deserve an increase. Times and times over these taxi drivers were unfair and operates like robbers, a relative of mine who don't know NY much took a yellow cab from JFK to Ozone pk, the driver keeps going around and around, driving as if he don't know the place so that the meter can move up to more than a normal taxi fare from JFK to Ozone. My question is, why must a driver who don't know NY areas be EMPLOYED ? They normally use that trick on some who do not know NY much. They don't help passanger in and out of car or help put luggage in the trunk. They never say thank you when you left a tip with your fare.
I DON'T SUPPORT NO TAXI FARE INCREASE!
They do not deserve a raise. They are rude, horrible drivers and are always on their phone.
Andrew Upper East Side
Yes, they should get the raise.
I take approx 6 cabs a week. They work hard. Most are friendly and helpful. They have little personal security and traffic laws make their work difficult.
They need better training.
Perhaps, if the drivers ever stopped to pick up a passenger instead of driving around empty with the “Off Duty” light on all the time, they wouldn’t NEED a raise. WHY, oh WHY won’t they ever stop to pick anyone up? I am usually only going within 30 blocks or so. Where are they in such a big rush to go? Lazy, lazy, lazy.