Taxis line up on 7th Avenue to pick up passengers at Penn Station during the taxi strike on September 5, 2007 in New York City.
Yellow cab drivers are seeing red over a new 50-cent surcharge on taxi rides that went into effect over the weekend.
Raising the initial cost of a cab ride to $3, the new tax is part New York state’s plan to help out the cash-strapped MTA -- a plan that has included surcharges on other non-mass-transit related things like car registrations.
“We’re hustling every single [moment] of our shifts,” Victor Salazar, a 15-year veteran taxi driver, told the Daily News at a rally outside of Penn Station on Sunday. “We’re in the nickel and dime business. Everything counts.”
At the protest drivers held signs and chanted “Ax the tax!”
Mostly, the hacks fear that the additional half-dollar charge will cut into their tips, especially from people who just say, “keep the change.”
“This went into effect on Halloween night, which we think is pretty symbolic because it’s a monstrous tax,” said Bhairavi Desai, head of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. “Not one penny of the new 50 cents on the meter will go to the taxi drivers.”
Riders weren’t happy either.