Cabbies Warming up to Credit, But Not the Fees

Taxi drivers enjoying uptick in ridership, but now have to pay percentage

Taxi drivers raised a ruckus last year when the city forced them to accept credit-card payments.

But now that fewer people are shelling out bigger bucks for black cars or limousine services, one would think cabbies would be warming up to plastic.

Ridership is "actually up 11 percent from December to February," Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Matt Daus said.

Daus added that statistics also show 20 percent of riders are using credit cards.

"Drivers are making $14 to $16 an hour on average," he said.

But whatever increase in income that the rise of ridership brings is at least partly undone by the fees cabbies are required to pay, one taxi driver said.

"Say you pay $20 in credit-card fees," driver Benjamin Manja said. "You work 25 days, multiply by 12 (months), that's a lot of money."

So the question remains, would a cabbie prefer fewer fares paying cash, or more fares with the allowance of credit?

Manja said he just goes where the money is.

"East Village, West Village," he said.

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