The Taxi and Limousine Commission is considering adding a $4.50 surcharge to evening rush hour trips to JFK, in order to incentivize cabbies to make the long-haul drive in traffic.
The fee, which was debated at a hearing on Thursday, would be implemented on top of the $52 flat fare between 4 and 8 p.m. As it stands, the prospect of a traffic-filled, 17-mile journey is not terribly appealing to drivers, who can make more money on shorter trips.
According to officials at the meeting, a driver could make nine metered trips in the three hours it takes to make an evening rush hour trip to JFK. “As the current flat fare for taxi trips between Manhattan and JFK Airport does not incorporate the $1 rush-hour surcharge in effect between 4 and 8 p.m., this update would properly compensate drivers for that loss,” TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg said during the proceedings.
But nearly $60 for an airport run is out of the question for many potential passengers, who know they can get there for far cheaper using Uber or Lyft. “I wouldn’t be taking the taxi, for sure,” one traveler told the Daily News. “I would be taking Uber.”
Others argue that hacks shouldn't need any additional incentives to drive to JFK, considering that it is, after all, their job. “I have been turned down when asking a taxi to take me to JFK, but I know the rules,” one woman told the Post. “I get their medallion number and report them.”
The potential increase would not impact cab rides to La Guardia, which are metered.