The next time you head to JFK or LaGuardia Airport, you may have to dig a little deeper into your pocket.
NYC’s Taxi and Limousine Commission is looking to increase the flat fee for a taxi between JFK and Manhattan from $52 to $65.
Under the proposal, a $39 flat fare will be established for trips between LaGuardia and Manhattan below West 110th Street and East 96th Street.
"I know every time we are talking about adjustments to an increase in fares. It's a complicated discussion. So we welcome your thoughts and comments," says Ryan Wanttaja, the Acting Commissioner for NYC’s Taxi and Limousine Commission.
The TLC says these proposals come as the taxicab industry has drastically changed. Part of the change is due to the pandemic, a shift in driver availability, and growth in for-hire vehicles. Officials say the proposed flat fares are meant to help cover driver’s wait times at airport lots, a time when they are not generating income.
The NY Taxi Workers Alliance says the flat flee increase is long overdue.
"Given that drivers have not had a raise in 10 years… while during this time period inflation has begun to skyrocket. Yellow cab drivers have really taken a loss. Imagine the scenario where the amount that you took on the meter has stayed frozen for years, expenses have gone up, your wait time has gone up because your ridership has come down. It’s been a devastating 10 years," said Bhairavi Desai, the Executive Director for the NY Taxi Workers Alliance.
Desai adds that the NY Taxi Workers Alliance is still looking into the proposed flat rate for LaGuardia, and whether or not they believe the $39 is enough.
"If the fare is from Uptown to LaGuardia it can make sense, but if you are going Downton to LaGuardia especially when and there is a lot of traffic, then the flat rate that the TLC proposed we think it’s a bit low and we do not think it will compensate drivers enough," says Desai.
The public will have a chance to weigh in on these new flat rates during a public hearing on April 5th.