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NYC Cab Riders Upset Over 17 Percent Fare Hike, But Are They Justified?

According To Website, Big Apple Has Only 31st Most Expensive Fares In U.S.
A taxi cab SUV (credit: Philip J. Victor, CBSNewYork.com)

A taxi cab SUV (credit: Philip J. Victor, CBSNewYork.com)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Commuters are saying, “hail no!” to a fare increase for New York City’s yellow cabs that went up 17 percent at noon Tuesday.

CBS 2’s Don Dahler found out more on where the money is going, and why.

WCBS 880′s Mike Xirinachs reports

Business was brisk at Oldee Taxi Instruments in Long Island City on Tuesday morning, as old fare rate stickers were being removed and new stickers installed. Meters were also being recalibrated for the new rates.

The starting fare of $3 remains the same, but the meter will tick a little bit faster from that point on.

“Instead of 40 cents for every minute – 1/5th of a mile wait time — now it is 50 cents. It’s been six years since the last fare increase,” Taxi and Limousine Commission Chairman David Yassky said.

Taxi riders aren’t happy about it.

“I think that’s crazy! I can’t even afford it now,” Brooklyn’s Amira O’Kelly said with a laugh.

“It’s crazy. They’re expensive enough as it is,” added Cara Fenoy of Long Island.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

Medallion owners asked for a share of the increase, but right now it all goes to the drivers, who were earning an average of $130 for a 12-hour shift. With the new fare that will rise to $160.

“We deserve it because we got too much expense, you know,” cabbie Enold Charicabod said.

When asked if there is any concern that people might tip less now if they’re paying more per ride, cabbie Mohamed Nasur said, “Maybe for a week or two, then it’ll come back to normal.”

What the increase means in real terms is about $2 a trip. For instance, excluding surcharges, tolls, and slow traffic charges, a trip from LaGuardia Airport to Times Square will go up from about $21 to $25.50.

Heading from East 96th Street to Wall Street? Expect that old fare of $18.50 to increase to $22.50.

But golfers in the Flatiron Building who want to hit a few balls at Chelsea Piers will only pay about 50 cents more.

And if you think New York City is the most expensive place in the country for cabs, you’d be wrong. According to taxifares.com, it actually ranks 31st among American cities. The most expensive city in the country for cabs is Honolulu.

Cabbies have until Sept. 30 to change over to the new fares, but CBS 2’s Dahler didn’t find any who were planning on waiting that long.

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