“Fare Sharing” Could Bring Strangers Together

New plan would require taxis to calculate fares for group riders

As if New Yorkers don't spend enough time crammed next to one another on the streets and subways, they soon may be sharing cabs.

The city is considering plans that would call for cabs to reprogram their meters to calculate fares for group riders, according to a report in the New York Post.

"The meters are all hooked up with GPS and credit-card readers," Jeff Kay, director of the mayor's Office of Operations, told the New york Post. "You'd just have to make changes to the code."

Under the plan, a $20 ride from Downtown to Midtown could be re-figured to charge two customers $13 each or three customers $10 each.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg described the plan as a "win-win" with passengers paying less and drivers earning more. Some taxi drivers oppose the plan, saying it's more lucrative in the long run for three cabs to pick up three passengers than for three passengers to share one cab fair.

The trial will also involve livery cabs, which serve neighborhoods with few yellow taxis.

Also being discussed is zoned fares, in which passengers pay flat fees.  

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