Mayor Bloomberg announced that the city was prepared for the possible two-day taxi strike that some taxi driver groups have threatened for tomorrow morning, starting at 5AM. About 7,000 of the city's 44,000 taxi drivers (there are about 13,000 cabs in total) have reportedly promised to strike over new technology that the Taxi and Limousine Commission wants to install in all cabs. Some drivers' issues with the technology, which includes GPS tracking systems and credit card payment systems, are that (a) the GPS has no navigational capabilities and (b) when the technology breaks down, the taxi fare meter breaks down, too, costing them money. The city,though, views these measures as necessary customer service initiatives.

The TLC and Office of Emergency Management, has created a system of "amended fare structures that permits and encourages group rides and flat rate fares to and from LaGuardia (LGA) and Kennedy (JFK) airports." So, if you're going to the airport tomorrow and there is a strike, this is what taxis will cost:

Trips to/from Manhattan and JFK will be a $30 flat fare per person, while trips to/from Manhattan and LGA would be $20 per person. Zone charges would dictate fares for trips to/from airports and boroughs other than Manhattan. The City also reserves the right to allow livery hails if the TLC determines that it is necessary after evaluating the situation. Subsequent public announcements about plans will be made by the TLC.

In all cases:
* If riders to/from LGA and JFK airport select the group ride option, they will be required to adhere to the flat fare or zone based system.
* All riders to/from LGA and JFK have the option to choose non-group rides. In that scenario, normal metered rates will apply.
* Tolls are included in all zone-based and flat fare rides.
* Charges apply to adult riders only. Children under 12 ride free with adults

$30 (Per Person) Trips To/From Manhattan and JFK
$20 (Per Person) Trips To/From Manhattan and LGA
ZONE CHARGES Trips To/From JFK or LGA from boroughs other than Manhattan

If riders choose the group ride option for travel to/from JFK or LGA and boroughs other than Manhattan, they will be required to adhere to a zone-based fare structure. The zone-based fare structure citywide charges $10 per person within a given zone, and an additional $5 per person for each zone subsequently entered or passed through. Below are the zones:
Zone A Manhattan: South of 23rd Street
Zone B Manhattan: 23rd Street – 60th Street
Zone C Manhattan: 60th Street – 96th Street
Zone D Manhattan: North of 96th Street
Zone E Brooklyn
Zone F The Bronx
Zone G Queens
Zone H Staten Island

We bet that some drivers would prefer this pay system than the current ones, as they'll be able to get more per passenger.

The MTA will be adding more service to the M60 and Q33 bus routes. And the NYPD will add more officers to guard taxi strike breakers. The Sun reports that two New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers (a group that opposes a strike) were allegedly assaulted by members of the pro-strike New York Taxi Workers Alliance. When the Sun called the NYTWA, the man who "answered the phone... denied that [the NYSFTD] is a valid organization before hanging up the phone." Yikes, warring taxi unions!

Photograph of a taxi cab over the Brooklyn Bridge by paulocarrillo on Flickr