Updated 09/04/2012 12:11 PM
New Taxi Fare Hike Goes Into Effect
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Starting Tuesday taxi drivers in the city can begin collecting the 17 percent fare increase approved by the Taxi and Limousine Commission back in July.
The base fare stays $2.50, but passengers will now be charged 50 cents every fifth of a mile, not 40.
The flat rate between Manhattan and JFK Airport also rises from $45 to $52.
Only drivers who have re-calibrated their meters and posted updated fare prices on their cars can charge the higher rate.
It's the first rate hike since 2006.
New Yorkers will be able to locate the updated cabs who will sport a simple "T" logo as opposed to the old "NYC Taxi" version.
Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky says changes since then have made it tougher for drivers to make ends meet.
"Gas prices are up almost 50 percent since then," Yassky said. "They're also paying credit card fees they weren't paying at that time. You put all that together and the average driver is taking home maybe $25 less a shift than they were six years ago. Now, you can't support your family that way. So, this brings drivers back to where they were. It's a modest increase. I think passengers understand that it's necessary."
The TLC says drivers cleared about $150 per shift in 2006, and that lately it has been only $130. The fare increase will bring them to about $170, roughly what they made in 2006, adjusted for inflation.
"Yeah, that's better, that's better now, I can make more than usually," said one cab driver.
While most riders who spoke with NY1 were okay with paying more to better improve the lives of drivers, others say they will be cutting back on cab trips.
"I mean gas is higher, they are just trying to recoup some of their losses. I'm not saying that it's great, everything is more expensive," said one taxi rider.
Drivers will not have to implement the new fares until their first scheduled inspection at the end of September, so riders may see cabs charging different prices for awhile.