As gas prices climb to higher and higher heights, driving to Brooklyn has become an expensive chore for yellow cab drivers.
On Wednesday, a listed the price per gallon for regular gas at a Bed-Stuy station at $4.09. By Thursday, the next day, the price of regular gas at that same station already had increased by 6 cents, kicking the price up to $4.12.
As a result of the soaring price of petroleum, yellow taxi cab drivers, who have to pay for their own gas, are taking home less and less of the money they pocket to offset the cost of fuel. And they are asking for some help – a 15 percent hike in cab fare, about $1.50 per ride.
“We don’t think there should be a major fare raise in these economic times,” said Bhairavi Desai, head of the Taxi Workers Alliance in New York. “But we haven’t had one in seven years, and if you expect us to provide the service of mass transit, then you need to make it economically viable for us to do so.”
A spokesperson at Myrtle, a cab company that services Bedford-Stuyvesant, said that because of rising gas prices, they had to raise the price of their fare by an average of 50 cents a ride, beginning about six months ago. He said they will be meeting with the cab drivers very soon to discuss another increase.
However, at Eastern, another livery service in Brooklyn, gas prices don’t seem to be as much of a concern:
“Right now, we have not raised the prices in a while,” said an Eastern Cab Company dispatcher. “We haven’t heard too many complaints from our drivers about the gas prices. But if our manager decides that is something we need to do, we let the customers know.”
Desai said she will formally propose the increase for yellow cab drivers next week.
A spokesperson for the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission said although they have yet to see the petition, a fare increase "is something that they will consider on its merits."