New York - New cab fares go into effect
For the first time since 2005 taxi fares are increasing.
"Our cabs carry 600,000 people a day and they need to earn enough to make a living," said David Yassky, Commissioner of the Taxi and Limousine Commission.
According to Yassky, the increase amounts to a 17 percent hike or a $1.50 to $2.00 for the average cab ride. A difference that may not seem like a lot to riders but to drivers, it's everything.
"We are making about $500 - $600 a month, said one cabbie.
"Like any person we need more money to survive," added another driver.
Flat rate fares to JFK Airport will also increase by $7.00 but the biggest change could be the six cents of every dollar earned by yellow cab drivers will go into a health benefits account.
Many times cab drivers live without medical benefits and are unable to afford them.
"About half of the drivers have no health insurance out there," said Yassky.
There is one big issue with the hike, the fact that it's happening in waves.
About one-third of all 13,000 cabs will have increased fares on day one creating confusion for passengers who may find themselves paying more for one ride than they would another.
Commissioner Yassky says it will be easy to tell the difference.
"If a cab has a new logo, new fare – old logo, old fare," said Yassky.
The fare hike officially goes into effect September 4, but cab drivers have until September 30 to recalibrate their meters.