For the first time in a decade, New York City’s taxi drivers will see an increase in their remuneration. The increase in wages will take place simultaneously with an increase in taxi fares. The Taxi and Limousine Commission announced the approval of the increments for yellow cab drivers on Tuesday, November 15th. The wages of yellow cab drivers will increase by 33%. On average, the cost of a ride on a yellow cab will increase by 23%. Services such as Uber and Lyft will also see increases. The increases are slated to go into effect by the end of the year.
“Raising taxi fare rates and minimum pay for high-volume drivers is the right thing to do for our city,” Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Do wrote in a statement. “This is the first taxi fare increase in 10 years, and these raises will help offset increased operating expenses and the cost of living for TLC-licensed drivers. We are confident that today’s unanimous commission vote will keep our taxi and FHV fleets sustainable and ready to serve New Yorkers.”
The base fare for yellow cab riders will increase from $2.50 to $3.00. The surcharge for trips will increase too, with rush hour trips going up by $1.50, while the overnight surcharge will increase by 50 cents. Trips to the airports in the New York area will increase too, with trips to and from LaGuardia Airport a new surcharge of $5. Trips to Newark Airport will go up to $20 from $17.50. Trips from Manhattan to JFK Airport will cost $70.00, up from $52.00.
App-based drivers will see a per-minute increase of 7.8%. This would be the first such increase since 2019. “Gas prices and expenses have soared the last two years, and rideshare drivers are struggling to make ends meet,” said Brendan Sexton, president of the Independent Drivers Guild, an organization that represents some app-based drivers. “This increase to the minimum pay is critical and an important step to protect the 80,000 rideshare drivers who keep our city moving.”
Cab drivers were happy about the wage increases considering the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as general price increases caused by inflation. “It’s going to help us at least get a couple more dollars in our pocket, so this is really a good thing,” said taxi driver Saibou Sidibe. Sidibe has been a yellow cab driver in New York City for twenty years.