New York cab drivers get raise in fare
A proposal to increase the rates of yellow and green taxis by 23% received the green light on Tuesday from the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). This is the first increase in 10 years for these drivers.
The vote also benefits Uber and Lyft drivers who will see pay increases of up to 24% per mile driven. The increase is expected to take effect before the end of the year.
Driver earnings across the industry have been devastated by the historic rise in inflation and rising operating costs. In a New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) survey during the spring, when gas prices and the cost of groceries soared to record numbers, more than 70% of drivers reported that they did not have enough money for taxis. purchases for the next month.
“After a year in which all drivers had to choose between food and fuel, and a decade of not just stagnation but losses for yellow cab drivers in particular, we are relieved to see the increase voted for. We fought hard for it,” said Bhairavi Desai, executive director of NYTWA, the union that encompasses 25,000 New York City taxi drivers, including Uber and Lyft drivers.
For the taxi drivers this is a first step in their campaign to ensure that everyone who works in this industry can take home $25 per hour after expenses. For now, they are celebrating this victory that came despite opposition from app companies — Uber publicly opposed the increase in the public hearing for the FTA held last October — and after a decade.
“I think the increase will be manageable for the public, but for us drivers it will help us manage our lives and our health,” said yellow cab driver and owner Richard Chow, who in his 17 years behind the wheel has only seen two rate increases. “We need to pay for our food and gas, and also look after the future of our children and our own retirement.”
For Mamadou L Diallo, an Uber and Lyft driver, this increase could make all the difference to be able to support their families. end of the day? Our families, parents and children depend on us, but it is not enough. We make New York a 24-hour city. We deserve this raise!” said the driver, who is a member of the NYTWA.
“We work very hard. This increase is very important to me because the maintenance and gasoline costs are very high,” said Md Azizul Haque, a Lyft driver. “This extra money will help me keep my car and help me save some money for my future.”
The owner and driver of a yellow taxi, Mouhamadou Aliyu, said that this increase was long overdue. “Being without a raise in the last 10 years, no one can survive such a terrible situation. This increase was owed to us a long time ago. After long hours of working at least we will be able to put food on the table, at least I will be able to support my family.”
Brendan Sexton, president of the Independent Drivers Guild – which represents the city’s 80,000 Uber and Lyft drivers – applauded the TLC for “listening to drivers and acting.”
“Gas prices and expenses have skyrocketed in the past two years, and rideshare drivers are struggling to make ends meet. This minimum wage increase is critical and an important step to protect the 80,000 rideshare drivers who keep our city moving,” Sexton said.