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Cabbies Cry 'No Fare' To Gas Hike – QNS.com

Cabbies Cry ‘No Fare’ To Gas Hike

At a hearing last week, the League of Mutual Taxi Owners (LMTO), as well as two other advocacy groups, presented a petition for a surcharge on taxi cab passengers due to skyrocketing gas prices.
The city’s nearly 13,000 taxi drivers pay for gas out of their own pocket.
The proposal stated that, should gas prices drop to $1.90, the surcharge would be removed. But between $1.91 and $3.50 per gallon, there should be implemented an extra charge of $1.00, and if gas should continue to rise to $4 per gallon, a $1.50 surcharge should be put into effect in an effort to help offset the rising price of gas.
“Drivers deserve this,” said David Pollack, executive director of the Committee for Taxi Safety.
Pollack told The Queens Courier that, according to the Automobile Association of America (AAA), the city saw record high gas prices last Wednesday, with regular unleaded at $3.317 per gallon, and premium at $3.62.
Pollack’s colleague, Vincent Sapone, managing director of the LMTO, said that cab drivers, who last year spent an average of $18 per day on gas, now spend more than $40 per day. This translates to $5,000 more per year.
“That’s a lot of bread on the table,” said Sapone. “These guys use gas to make a living.”
“It’s too high,” said Luciana Toba, a cabbie in Astoria for six years. “They have to come down sooner or later.”
The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), is currently considering the proposal and analyzing its potential impact on the riding public.
But Sapone feels that it’s not enough. Even if the TLC does approve the increase, it will take at least 90 days for it to go into effect. He therefore, has drafted and sent a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg asking for an emergency ruling.
“It’s a horror show,” he said. “UPS and FedEx have already passed on an increase to customers, and all the major cities — Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago — already have a $1 surcharge.”
In the interim, Sapone hopes that the city’s cab drivers will not strike or protest.
So do their riders.
toni@queenscourier.com
$2.99/gallon
Gulf Station
Springfield Boulevard
and Union Turnpike
$3.09/gallon
Gulf Station
Linden Boulevard and
Cross Island Parkway
$3.14/gallon
Citgo Station
Merrick Boulevard
and Baisley Boulevard
$3.23/gallon
Exxon Station
Astoria Boulevard
and 82nd Street
$3.25/gallon
Gulf Station
Merrick Boulevard
and 220th Street
$3.27/gallon
Hess Station
Northern Boulevard and
39th Street
SEND US YOUR GAS PRICES: Editorial@Queenscourier.com
Information courtesy newyorkgasprices.com as of 9/13

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