Taxi drivers

Mount Vernon taxi drivers lobby for increased minimum fares

Mount Vernon taxi drivers are lobbying City Hall to raise fares.

They say that if their minimum rates are not increased, they and their employers will suffer.

They attended Wednesday night’s meeting of the city’s taxi commission to demand that the minimum fare be increased by $1.

They tell News 12 it could prevent some companies from folding back. All that extra $1 would go to the driver.

The manager of Reliable Taxi – one of the city’s three main taxi services – says that before the pandemic they had around 75 drivers. Now they only have 30 pilots left because it just isn’t worth it for a lot of them. He says that in three years they went from around 2,200 rides a day to around 1,400 a day.

They pay for their own gas, licenses, car maintenance, and rates, which is like a medallion.

People who drive for ride-sharing services do not have these burdens, and depending on the routes and times, their rides are cheaper.

The drivers are asking the Taxi Commission to send a recommendation to the city council to pass the increase. It would then be up to the council to act.

At Wednesday night’s meeting, a member of the Taxi Commission said he needed more taxi drivers to come to meetings and explain their situation.

He said it would help the commission in its analysis and improve its chances of passing the increase.

The manager of Reliable Taxi said he would take them there, but many drivers have lost hope of relief, and their absence is a sign of low morale.