In September, Fox 5 News interviewed former NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission chair, Matthew W. Daus, Esq., about the laundry list of surcharges that riders and drivers must contend with when hiring a taxi or for-hire vehicle in New York City.
According to the article, “There was a time when all New Yorkers had to calculate when riding in a cab in New York City was the base fare (currently $2.50 for yellow taxis) and then the increments (50 cents per one-fifth of a mile when traveling above 12 mph or per minute in slow or stopped traffic). However, these days the list of fees, taxes, and surcharges for your ride in a taxi [or FHV] has gotten long and complicated.”
Daus, who is also currently President of the International Association of Transportation Regulators (http://iatr.global/) and Partner/Chair of the Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group (http://windelsmarx.com), outlined the various surcharges and where the money goes.
- Improvement Surcharge: This 30-cent charge on all yellow and green taxis helps pay for accessibility upgrades, including fulfilling the mandate to have enough accessible cabs on New York City streets.
- Congestion Surcharge: This surcharge, which took effect in 2019, adds $2.50 per ride in yellow taxis, $2.75 per ride in green taxis and for-hire cars, and 75 cents per passenger for shared rides for all trips that start, end, or pass through Manhattan south of 96th Street.
- MTA State Surcharge: Established in 2009, this 50-cent charge goes towards the MTA.
- New York Sales Tax: This tax combines New York state and local taxes and is itemized only on for-hire rides.
- Airport Access Fee: This fee is $1.25 for taxi pickups only at LaGuardia and JFK airports and $2.50 in for-hire drop-offs and pickups at LaGuardia, Newark, and JFK airports.
- Rush Hour Surcharge: Metered-fare rides in yellow taxis and green taxis between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays (excluding holidays) cost an extra $1, which goes to the driver.
- Overnight Surcharge: This is a 50-cent fee between 8:00pm and 6:00am every day for rides in yellow taxis and metered-fare rides in green taxis. The money goes to the driver.
“If you need to go to the hospital and you need to be driven in and it’s not an emergency, and you’re coming from Maspeth, Queens, or East New York, and you’re making $50,000 a year, you can’t afford to take a taxi cab or a green cab,” Daus told Fox 5.