NEW YORK - New York City yellow cab drivers say they are finally getting a break after struggling financially. The Taxi and Limousine Commission has voted in favor of raising fares for the first time in 10 years.
"I'm happy about it actually because we'll finally get a piece of it," one cabbie told FOX 5 NY. Another said it would help his family survive.
"Some expenses have gone up by over 80% from the last time drivers have gotten a raise," New York Taxi Workers Alliance Executive Director Bhairavi Desai said. "So it's been really hard to make ends meet."
Here are some changes:
- The base fare is increasing from the current $2.50 to $3.
- The 50-cent nighttime surcharge is going up to a $1.
- The rush hour surcharge is increasing to $2.50.
- Trips to LaGuardia Airport will have a new surcharge of $5.
- The flat rate to JFK Airport is jumping to $70.
- Uber and Lyft pay rates will increase 7% per minute and 24% per mile.
Yellow cabbies have been fighting for rate hikes for years.
Desai said that although passengers will pay more per ride, for drivers it is a matter of survival.
"It's going to be a couple of dollars more for the passenger but for the driver, each dollar is going to add up to something significant," Desai said. "Remember, on the yellow cab side, you have not seen an increase in 10 years."
FOX 5 News asked a few passengers what they think:
"It's getting less affordable. It's not necessarily a good thing."
"Everybody's got to make a living. Cab drivers got to make a living, too. I understand it."
"The cost of living is increasing and people that are cab drivers are working very hard for a living that just makes it."
The fare increases are expected to go into effect by the end of December.