De Blasio Taxi Surcharge Opposed by NY Taxi Workers Alliance

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According to the NY Taxi Workers Alliance, drivers already lose 60% of the metered fare to the lease and fuel and by adding another surcharge – which still doesn’t go toward driver income – keeps drivers more in debt but creates the illusion to the rider that the driver is earning more. The alliance believes there are other ways to accommodate the disabled with other funding sources. For example, revamping the Access-A-Ride program which they state costs the city and state billions of dollars. “Converting those rides to taxi trips would create the additional revenue without dipping into the meter which is the only means for taxi drivers to earn an income.”

According to the alliance, the surcharge will mean more for the rider to pay and less for the driver to earn. Overall, they are in support of wheel-chair accessible taxis but believe there should be an equitable way to pay for the conversions. “We are heartened, meanwhile, to see that the money would go to a separate fund and not the fleets directly.  It gives us some security that any portion of funds established for this program that are for drivers – whether the surcharge or money raised by some other means by the city or state – will actually get to the drivers.”

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