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Public hearing Thursday on proposed taxi fare hike

May 31, 2012 3:34:18 PM PDT
New York taxi riders will get their say Thursday about a proposed fare hike.

A public hearing on the increase is set for 11 a.m. at the Taxi and Limousine Commission headquarters in Lower Manhattan.

The mayor's office supports the idea, which means we may all be paying more to hail a cab beginning this summer.

Taxi drivers and owners are asking for a 16 to 20 percent increase.

Right now, an average taxi ride of about three miles costs $11.82. If a 20 percent increase passes, that average ride would cost you $14.18.

The industry says income isn't keeping up with expenses, there has not been a fare hike since 2006.

"In real numbers, drivers, after laboring 60- to 70-hour work weeks, with no health care, no disability, no kind of benefit at all, are still earning less today than they did six years ago," said Bhairavi Desai, of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.

Drivers say they are losing money because they are paying more for gas and in fees. After working 12 hour shifts, they just aren't taking home very much money, sometimes as low as $50 to $100 a day.

In 2009 passengers were hit with a 50-cent surcharge to help fund mass transit, but the fare itself hasn't gone up since 2006.

Because of that, Commissioner David Yassky says it's reasonable for drivers and owners to put this on the table now.

If approved, the increase could take effect in July.

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