Every time you get in a cab, you pay a 50-cents-per-trip tax which was imposed on November 1, 2009. Which is as part of the piecemeal MTA bailout package, Albany approved a 50-cent surcharge on all metered taxi rides. So in plain English the MTA can not govern itself and we, the cab drivers have to bailout them ? What a joke..! We don’t make thousands of dollars like them, we don’t have board of members who get millions of dollars every year, yet we are the one who has to take the burden on our shoulder..? Is this the land of equal opportunity. When it comes to Taxi drivers, we can not call any rules as our own. We bring so much money for the city and we are the one continuously harassed by the NYPD and TLC. Let me give you the dollar and sense.
There are more than 13000 yellow taxi runs in New York City in 2 shifts. That means 26000 cabs on the street every single day. Lets take 500 cabs for repair and for any other reason (No one wants their cab to be seated just for the hack of it. It cost money to sit a car idle).
A cab picks up on average (This is my own survey by asking questions to different drivers) 25 passengers per 12 hour shift. that means 25 x 12,500 = 312,500 X 2 shifts = 625,000 passengers a day X .50 cents = $312,500 a day X 365 days a a year = $114 Million Dollars which is a FREE money to the city.
So friends, now you can see the BIG picture, you see .50 cent and the city sees $114 million dollars. What do we get in return..? Bad mouthing, harassment by NYPD and TLC, no appreciation what so ever. This may be the most thankless job in New York City and I blame the Mayor about it. He is the CEO of the city and he should know what is going on in the taxi industry. If any company would give $114 million dollars to the city especially when the city needs every penny, it would get Tax cut, VIP status and many other perks but we get more tickets. You will not find any driver who has less than 5 tickets.
So dear friends now you know that that 50 cents does not go to us. We merely collect them for the city. This certainly lowered our tips and we go home empty handed.
Fortunately, you.. the passengers are in our side. You are our friends, our saviors, you are the reason we are in this industry, you are the reason that our children are not going hungry and have a roof on their head. On the other hand, we are your friends for few minutes. You vent to us about your wife or husband, you tell us your deepest secret as you know that you have a better odd winning the lottery than see us again, you feel safe and secure with us and we try to give you the same respect and trust you vested upon us. In the remotest place in the city, in the wee hour of the late night, if you see a yellow cab..you feel safe, secure and happy and believe me when we see your raised hand we feel happy too. It is a mutual relation where we both happy to see each other. In this ever increasing complicated world where else you will find happiness and trust but in a Yellow Taxi..? We will give back the trust you vested upon us. We love you.