NYC Taxi Drivers Want Pay Raise, So Fare Hike Possible

City Council Pushing For Refusal Crackdown Legislation

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Could your cab fare soon be going up?

New York City cab drivers hope that will be the case after announcing Wednesday they will petition the Taxi and Limousine Commission for a pay increase next week.

The news came on the same day City Council brought up a bill that would punish cabbies who refused fares headed to the outer boroughs.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks with more on the proposed City Council bill

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance is putting forward what it calls a “modest increase,” which would include a 50-cent increase in the per-mile metered rate and a 10-cent bump for idling charges.

The bottom line? The meter rate would increase from $2.00 to $2.50 per mile and idling charges — instituted in traffic or when traveling below 6 mph — would go up a dime from $0.40 to $0.50.

WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs With A Cabbie In Long Island City

Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the taxi workers union, said the petition was quite reasonable given that cabbies have not seen a pay hike since 2004.

“We understand the economic pressures that all of us in this city are facing. That’s why it would be a very modest increase that we’re talking about. And a typical fare that let’s say is one mile with one minute of waiting time, you’re looking at an increase of 60 cents more,” Desai told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.

Drivers also said that while expenses have gone up for the last seven years, their pay has stayed the same. The biggest hardship has been the spike in gas prices, which drivers pay out of pocket.

“We need it.  We can’t even make the payments on these cabs,” Taxi Driver Mario Barnes told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

Taxi riders, however, were split on their opinions of a potential spike.

“I don’t think that’s too much considering the economy right now,” Lilibeth Montemar said.

“I would definitely think about it twice and if it becomes unmanageable, then I will have to take alternative methods of getting to the places where I need to get to,” Natalia Lysetska said.

“I love taking taxis, but I already don’t take them enough because of the rates,” another rider said.

The TLC said it will weigh the merits of the petition and make a decision.

Rob Muzac, of Freeport, said the petition was “taking it a little too far,” despite the fact that he sympathized with the problem of rising gas prices.

“Their service is not at the same level as their rates are,” he said.

Meanwhile, some City Council members led by Transportation Committee Chairman James Vacca argued in favor of imposing stiffer fines on cabbies who refuse to pick up certain passengers and take them where they want to go.

James Vacca wants a crackdown on fare refusals. WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports.

“We cannot tolerate people being refused a taxi ride based on where they live or based on what they look like,” Vacca said.

The measure would heavily beef up fines against taxi drivers refusing to take passengers to the outer boroughs and would also hike penalties imposed on drivers who even ask for a destination before a passenger gets into the cab.

Vacca said that people who live outside Manhattan should not be treated as “second-class citizens,” adding that the council was “determined to end that long history.”

Taxi union head Desai took issue with the bill, saying “the solution here needs not to be to punish the driver.” She offered some potential solutions, including allowing drivers to offer group rides to the outer boroughs.

“The approach here should be to address the economics that are at the root of when refusals happen,” she said.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • Trishe


  • Curious


    what does your comment have to do with the story?

  • Gregg

    Cabbies should be able to make more money without increasing the fares ! Why not make it a law that ONLY MADILLION OWNERS CAN DRIVE THE TAXI !! This would take care of all the existing problems. That’s the way it was in the good old days in NYC !

    • Dale Auburn

      Good point. The medallion owners make all their money by leasing the medallions instead of driving the cabs. Whenever the fares go up, so do the lease rates, so it’s the drivers who always lose out.

  • Jeff the natvie New Yorker

    cabbies are so out of control these days. I had one insist I give him a tip beofre IO get out of the cab. One yelled at me for slamming the door, Most of them, yes most, smell, and it is so annoying to hear my driver speak some stupid foreign language while hes talking to someone else on the cell phone. They need to lower rates so normal native New Yorkers like me could justify these ridiculous prices for God awful service. I used to wait tables. Could you imagine me talking on my cell phone why trying to take your order? and then expecting a tip? Do you know how many times a cabbie has to ask me where I’m going cause he’s not paying attention. These are the worst cab drivers in NYC’s history and we should absolutely put them out of business.

    • nyc

      I agree with you 100% as a native New Yorker also. Worse foreign taxi drivers in NYC ever in 40 years ! Bring back driver/owner drivers only ! Medallion drivers only ! Solve all the problems immediatly.

    • Native NYCer, Here 2 Help U


      Solution: don’t take cabs. Next question?

  • cabbie n former waiter

    With regards to not picking up a black people, let me tell you something. Truth hurts and let me bring this issue to you and many of you already know about it. I used to work in Restaurant industry and blacks and hispanics were bad tippers. They are very demanding and leave 5-8% tips…or no tips at all .Any waiter sees black people seated on their section, they would freak, as they know what is about to come up.So, blacks or latino., learn from other people. Dont bring your ghetto attitudes and harass waiters. Whites are the best tippers..I am not white by the way. I have had some really nice blacks and latinos as well..but that would make 1 out of 10 the stereotype doesnt die people. I now drive cab and have noticed the same pattern. Blacks and latinos have tight fist, and they dont tip or even dont pay the many taxi drivers just avoid ..Most criminals attacking taxi or livery drivers are blacks or latino ppl. Fernando Mateo being black latino admitted openly the same issue……If you are black or white with a hoody, whose face I can barely see..I wont bother to pick you up. ….

    • KPMc

      You should pick another line of work then. You know the rules going in. Maybe you can work at the laundry and fold and press white sheets.

      • Big Nard

        The majority of people do not work in a tipped industry. I worked for an accounting dept. in a hotel. I never recieved a tip.

        Here is a tip. Find another job that does not require tipping or stop complaining.

  • sally rogers

    Yes, they deserve the fare increase. The price of Gas is going up to an amount that they can’t even barely come out even at the end of their shifts. If people can’t pay it, take the train or bus. But these cab drivers need an increase. The summer is coming and they have to run their A/C’s and that eats even more gas.

  • Brian the cabbie

    Why don’t you share that comment with your cab driver next time you take a cab?? I am sure your cabbie will appreciate it so much and he will teach you a very good lesson, I know for sure I would

  • kendra

    if you ask me they need to be but out of business for good cause they don,t want to stop for black people so i could care less about what there increases are.and the only reason why they are havin to raise the fair up it,s cause they don,t like taking black people as there customers so that,s great for them…boycott…boycott….boycott so they could lose more money …

    • Brian the cabbie

      If a cabbie does see you hailing him down and does not stop, please take his meddalion number and a simple call to 311 will take care of it. Take a stand, boycott won’t do it. We need to stop racial profiling which gives us all a bad image. A lot of hard working cabbies out there will stop for you
      the only time I can legally refuse your ride if I have the off duty lights on and I am looking for a ride going my way home which normally around 2-3 am/pm dependig on my shift schedule

  • Dogmeat

    So glad I stopped driving yellow. Horrible job, horrible pay, no respect from anyone.

  • Johnny Boii

    eefff that they all suck at driving!! that money should be going towards me for all the damage on my car caused my these idiots!! i have a new yellow scratch every other day!!!

    • Brian the cabbie

      Please learn how to speak first before you attack others.
      Would love to know where do you park your car to get it scratched daily by a yellow cab!!

  • A

    I am ok with increasing the fair. I think that the only people that take taxi’s in Manhattan are the ones that can afford it. If it was a subway fare hike, that would be totally different. They need more money because of their mismanagement of it. Don’t forget that the taxi’s also have to compete against the raising oil prices.

  • John

    God! After reading these comments that idea about visiting NY for the first time one day will be put on the very back burner, lol.

  • Humprey BOGART

    They have no right to receive a raise. They are rude, vulgar, low class, have
    emotionally violent and unstable temperments, and should all be deported
    without delay and without exception. They drive like maniacs and keep saying
    “In my country”…….Well why the hell don’t you go back to your country…!!!
    NY is bursting at the seams, Every foreigner that comes here, bitterly
    complaints. Without a doubt NY and New Yorkers are brutal selfish people who
    are morally corrupt and spiritually decayed, but these cabbies are out of their minds and out of control……PLease do…Go back to your country…!!!

    • Brian the cabbie

      Hey people, why is it everyone like to blame the cab driver for everything?? You had a bad day, you blame the cabbie, you get your a$$ drunk, you blame the cabbie, you lose your job, you blame the cabbie. Why your cost of living is going up but Not mine? Why your economy is bad but not mine? People, wake up. Do you know that the cabbie pays $11/hr to drive that car?? Do you know that we don’t appreciate your 50 cent tips? Everytime I meet one of you cheapo out there I just tell mysel, it ok Brian you won’t see him again.

    • Cranky Whiner


      Here’s an idea, if you don’t like cabs don’t use them. Problem solved.

  • joe for mayor

    time for the death penalty and get rid of welfare and foood coupons go to work

  • Majic

    Stop spending Billions on Iraq and Afghanistan war to
    save American Economy.

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