NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — New York City cab drivers marked seven years since their last pay raise Wednesday and continued their efforts to bring about a increase in the metered fare.
The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, led by Bhairavi Desai, once again pushed for an increase of 50 cents on the per-mile metered rate and a 10-cent bump for idling charges.
Last week, the group announced it would petition the Taxi and Limousine Commission for the “modest increase.”
“We’re not asking for much. We’re not asking to put everybody in a bankruptcy. We are just trying to survive,” one driver said Wednesday. “We’re not trying to bleed New Yorkers.”
Desai argued that skyrocketing gas prices have left drivers making 33 percent less than they made just six months ago. She says that cabbies were having to pay between $58 to $100 more for gas every week.
“Taxi drivers now are earning 40 percent below a living wage. They’re even earning below the New York State minimum wage,” Desai said.
Last week, taxi riders had differing opinions on a potential fare increase.
“I don’t think that’s too much considering the economy right now,” Lilibeth Montemar said.
“I love taking taxis, but I already don’t take them enough because of the rates,” another rider said.
The TLC said it will weigh the merits of the petition and make a decision.