Hiking JFK taxi fares is a bad idea

By Joseph Sitt

The Taxi and Limousine Commission should reject its proposed rule to raise Manhattan fares to and from Kennedy Airport to $56.50 during peak times, hiking costs for passengers while failing to address the inefficiency of taxi and airport access in New York.

Passengers traveling to and from Manhattan to JFK currently pay a flat fare of $52, and yet the TLC proposes to add $4.50 to the cost for passengers traveling between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. The surcharge would come on the heels of the TLC increasing the flat JFK fare from $45 to $52 less than three years ago.

Over 3.27 million taxis leave from JFK every year. And with many of these rides headed to Manhattan during peak hours, this proposed rule hits passengers where it hurts—their wallets.

According to the TLC, the increase is necessary because trips to and from the airport are increasing in length, with an increasing reluctance among drivers to serve the airport because they are losing time in the central holding lot while waiting to be summoned to a dispatch line. However, this proposed rule fails to address the taxi dispatch process at JFK that is driving much of the problem.

Transportation options to and from JFK are limited as it is. Without access to a one-seat ride, passengers are left with little choice other than a cab when it comes to getting to the city.

And passengers are significant economic contributors. JFK users contribute over $53 billion to the regional economy every year and that number is expected to grow over time. Passenger traffic at the region’s three airports is expected to increase from 117 million a year to 150 million by 2030.

Together with the Port Authority, the TLC must foster growth in the taxi industry at JFK and concentrate its efforts on providing passengers and drivers alike with suitable infrastructure in order to ensure cost-efficient, safe and competitive transit services.

Joseph Sitt

Chairman & Founder, Global Gateway Alliance

CEO, Thor Equities

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