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Taxi Owners Sue City Over Fare Increases

By Zachary Stieber
Epoch Times Staff
Created: October 2, 2012 Last Updated: October 2, 2012
Related articles: United States » New York City
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A New York City taxi with the new decals on the side drives up Sixth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan on Sept. 3. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A New York City taxi with the new decals on the side drives up Sixth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan on Sept. 3. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

NEW YORK—A group of taxi medallion owners are suing the city for the recent taxi fare increase.

The increase, approved in July and which started last month, is estimated to cost passengers 17 percent more on average. One aspect of the higher fares is increased waiting time charges, or the amount of time a taxi idles or is in slow traffic, from $0.40 to $0.50.

The medallion owners, part of the Greater New York Taxi Association, assert in the lawsuit that the Taxi and Limousine Commission, which governs the city’s taxi industry, illegally made a secret deal with taxi drivers before the raise. The lawsuit states that taxi drivers agreed to support a now-on-hold plan to add 20,000 new taxis to the city streets in return for a fare increase.

One part of the increase that bothers the association is the switch of credit card fees. Drivers who rent taxis from owners now pay a $10 flat fee each shift, instead of 5 percent for each transaction. Now the fleet owners bear most of the cost of customers paying by credit card, the association said.

Another action that the association is against is the switch of exterior decals on the sides of yellow taxis. Recently the commission switched exterior decals from the word “taxi” and a listing of fare

charges to a singular T.

Allan Fromberg, spokesperson for the Taxi and Limousine Commission, said in a statement, “I have no doubt that the court will quickly recognize the inappropriate frivolity of this baseless accusation.”

The city’s law department also said through a representative that the case “has no merit.”

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