After Nissan won the bid to design New York City’s ‘Taxi of Tomorrow’ and replace the iconic yellow cabs, the company realized they had quite a project on their hands. Nissan first asked city officials if it would be possible to design a cab in any color besides yellow, and officials declined this idea, staying true to the iconic yellow taxis. From this point, Nissan color designers viewed, tested and experimented with an unbelievable amount of yellow shades and swatches. The project was not as simple as choosing a favorite shade among designers and city officials; much more planning and consideration was required. The shade had to be easy and inexpensive for paint manufacturing plants and mechanics to obtain, as well as able to cover a cab’s scratches or imperfections easily. After one year of experimenting with color design, a light and fresher yellow was decided upon and recognized as “icon-worthy” by designers. It is the hope of Nissan to “brighten the entire New York City landscape, one yellow cab at a time.”
According to the newly released Prices and earnings report by UBS, taxi rides in Switzerland are the most expensive and ones in Cairo are the least expensive. Recently adjusted New York sits in middle of the pack at Rank #37 out of 72 cities surveyed.
The team at TFF is a bit warily of the results though. The report ranks Los Angeles in third place at $25.06. However, this is supposed to be a price for a 3 mile trip. $25 for a 3 mile trip? That seems awfully high. Rates in Los Angeles is about $2.70 a mile…you try the math. (Maybe they are considering crushing traffic congestion?)
Taxi Fare Finder has its own taxi price ranking here.
UBS – Price Comparison of Taxi Prices
||Rio de Janeiro
||Santiago de Chile
Note: Rates below are in USD and for “price for a distance of 5 kilometers / 3 miles during the day within the city limits, including service.” Source
New York CIty’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) approved a fare increase of its metered taxi fleet. This fare hike is the first in six years. The flag drop remains at the current $2.50 but the per-distance rate increases to $0.50 for every fifth of a mile (from the previous $0.40), bringing the per-mile charge to $2.50. This is designed to affect longer trips rather than the shorter, and TLC claims a driver will make on average $130 per a 12-hour shift under the new plan.
Other changes include an increase of flat-rate from JFK Airport to Manhattan from the current $45 to $52 and Newark airport extra charge from the current $15 to $17.50.
Another noticeable change is the way credit card fees are incurred by the drivers. Now, a driver pays $9 fee per shift, rather than paying $5% of every trip.
According to the Taxi Rate Comparison Chart at TaxiFareFinder (http://www.taxifarefinder.com/rates.php), New York ranked 15th among major US cities. Similar chart was used by TLC to justify this increase. (http://gothamist.com/2012/07/10/tlc_hearing.php)
Acclaimed NYC medallions will go on sale this year. 2000 of them. The city is expecting to raise $1B for these. Is $500K a medallion unrealistic? In the past, some medallions have gone for over $1M. So asking $500K, city argues, is an acceptable expectation.
However, in this economy and inevitable dilution of taxis in NYC , this expectation is being questioned. Furthermore:
- “Prior auctions came with fare hikes, raising the medallions’ value for potential buyers. This one comes…with no fare increase”
- This is right “after a change in state law that stripped away one of the industry’s most lucrative perks — the sole right to pick up street hails in all five boroughs.”
- The “new taxis must also be wheelchair-accessible, and the cost of such a vehicle, roughly $45,000, is nearly double that of a standard cab, about $25,000.”
The sale continues throughout the year. Stay tuned!
Source: New York Post – City hails ‘$1B’ taxi-medallion sale
This month, Washington DC proposed a taxi reform, and Chicago seems to be next. Over the last several years, the complaints regarding quality of taxi service has been on the rise, and many groups have spoken out regarding the need for an overhaul.
For the drivers, the taxi rates have been an increasing concern, as the rates have lagged behind other major US cities at $1.80/mile. (Compared against San Francisco $2.75, Los Angeles $2.70, and Boston $2.80. Chicago has been ranked 25th to 27th on TaxiFareFinder’s National Taxi Rates Ranking. )
Below are some articles to get you up to speed.
Chicago Tribune: Emanuel targets dangerous cabbies
Chicago Tribune: Taxi reforms in Chicago, following a series of Chicago Tribune taxi stories
Mayor: Recent response from the Chicago Mayor’s Office
Taxi Driver: A Taxi Driver Speaks Up – Blogger at ChicagoHack.com
The District of Columbia Taxi-Cab Commission has announced a new fare structure for Washington DC. The initial charge (i.e. flag drop) will remain at the current $3.00; however the per-mile rate is being adjusted from $1.50 per mil to $2.16 a mile. (44% increase) The wait time rate is also being adjusted from $15 to $25 per hour. (66% increase) To offset the increase, many surcharges such as for luggage and additional passengers have been removed.
One may assume this would be welcomed by the taxi companies and drivers. The previous rates, set after moving from a zone-based pricing to a meter-based pricing (in 2008), were criticized to have been set too low, causing taxi drivers to take significant hit in their incomes. DC was previously ranked 29th on TaxiFareFinder’s taxi rate ranking. The new rates? It should bring Washington DC from the current 29th place to…top 10.
Apparently, however, the newly announced reform and rates did not live up to the expectation, as it is getting mixed responses. Some argue that they are low compared to other major US cities such as San Francisco ($2.75/mile) and Boston ($2.80/mile). Others heavily criticize the new regulations to make DC cabs more “modern”, such as:
- New restrictions on the status of the vehicle, such as age, condition, etc.
- Enactment of “medallion like system”, where the number of taxi licenses will be limited and controlled by the Commission
- New requirements on digital recording of trips, credit card equipment, GPS, etc.
- (more details)
What do you guys think? With current issues with Uber taxi and Metro (DC subway) fare hike, Washington DC seems to be a happening place among the transportation-conscious.
In September, New York set up stings on taxi drivers, to enforce taxi drivers who refuse rides to the outer boroughs (from Manhattan). Out of 1330 sting operations, 361 of them were found to be violating the rule.
For those of you who are not familiar with New York taxis, this has been one of the key complaints from taxi riders, next to credit card machines being broken. Taxi drivers often prefer to not travel out to the boroughs, because they have to spend time and pay for fuel on the trip back.
There have always been sting operations to keep taxi drivers honest, but apparently, this offense, in the past, was only found about 4% of the time. In this new effort, it was found in staggering 27% of the time! Key difference in the number is attributed to the fact that New York hired “students” to perform the sting operations.
So why the staggering difference? In the news, we are led to believe it is due to the agents being “students”. However, is it simply because the riders were “students”? What characteristics about these students caused such dramatic effect on the taxi drivers to deny service more often than they would “normal agents.” Younger people? Rowdier crowd? Time of the day they attempted to take taxis?
…and who are the “regular” agents if not students? Is using students the better representation of the violations occurring on the streets? …or was this a test to see how often students are being discriminated against?
College Kids Catch Hundreds Of Fare-Refusing Cabbies
New York hires students to sting cabbies for refusing fares