The Taxi and Limousine Commission voted on November 15 to raise to the yellow and green cab meter will go up by 23% and the Uber and Lyft driver pay rates will increase by 7% per minute and 24% per mile. App drivers will see another increase in March 2023 based on inflation comparing December 2022 to September 2022. The raise, coming after ten years, is expected to go into effect before the end of the year.
“Driver earnings across the industry have been devastated by the historic rise in inflation and increased operational costs,” New York Taxi Workers Alliance said in a statement. “In a NYTWA survey during the spring when gas prices and cost of food skyrocketed to record numbers, over 70% of drivers reported not having enough money for next month’s groceries,” the statement added.
“For Uber and Lyft drivers, the victory comes despite Uber staking public opposition to the raise at the TLC public hearing in October. The drivers say they won round 1, and their eyes are set on $25 per hour take home after expenses.”
According to the statement, Uber and Lyft had also denied New York City drivers a fuel surcharge which both companies paid to drivers voluntarily in all other major cities in the country. Despite taking a larger cut of each fare, Uber opposed the TLC weighing the cost of operational expenses on driver income and opposed the month-to-month comparison on inflation which initially led the TLC to propose a 34% increase in mileage rates. TLC amended their proposal to compare inflation from 2019 to 6-month average of April – September 2022, lowering the raise on App driver per mile rates to 24%.
Yellow cab and for-hire drivers did not get a cap on the leases companies charge drivers.
NYTWA Executive Director Bhairavi Desai said “After a year of all drivers having to choose between food and fuel, and a decade of not just stagnation but loss for yellow cab drivers in particular, we’re relieved to see the raise be voted on. We fought hard for it, and driver unity delivered for all drivers across the industry. The work still remains to get driver income to $25 per hour after expenses. And we still have too many trips such as e-hails for yellow cabs and out-of-town trips for Uber drivers where drivers earn less than they spend. We’re going to take the momentum of this driver raise which comes despite company opposition and after a long delay, and use it to power our fight for a job with dignified incomes, job security and retirement.”
Md Azizul Haque, NYTWA member and Lyft driver said “We work so hard. This raise is so important for me because maintenance costs and gas costs so high. This extra money will help me to maintain my car and will help me to save some money for my future.”
Mouhamadou Aliyu, NYTWA member and yellow cab medallion owner-driver said “We desperately need the raise for our own survival. Going without a raise last 10 years, no one can survive such terrible situation. The raise is way overdue. After long hours of work at least we will be able to put food on the table, at least be able to provide for my family. Give us the raise now.”
Mamadou L Diallo, NYTWA member and Uber and Lyft driver said “This raise is very important for us. After the $2300 a month I pay in rent, the expensive cost of gas and food, what do I have left at the end of the day? Our families, parents, and children depend on us but it is not enough. We make New York a 24-hour city. We deserve this raise!” –
Founded in 1998, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) is the 25,000-member strong union of NYC taxicab drivers, representing yellow cab drivers, green car, and black car drivers, including drivers for Uber and Lyft. We fight for justice, rights, respect, and dignity for the over 150,000 licensed men and women who often labor 12-hour shifts with little pay and few protections in the city’s mobile sweatshop.