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City to roll out cab sharing program


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The city(New York City) has a hunch that cab riders won’t mind cozying up to save cash.


The Taxi and Limousine Commission is looking to usher in two fare-sharing programs this fall that would allow strangers to double up or in some cases triple or quadruple up to save on fares.


“In these tough economic times, it’s not bad for passengers to pay less and for drivers to earn more,” said TLC Commissioner Matthew Daus.


The innovative programs would:


• Install fare-sharing meters in 1,000 cabs to allow strangers to split ride costs


• Put up LED signs on cab roofs that display where the car is heading


• Set up group cab stands at six midtown locations that operate during the morning rush hour


• Establish a fixed set of rates between major destinations, including Penn Station, the Port Authority and Grand Central


A ride from Penn Station to 59th and Sixth Avenue, for example, would cost $4 a person instead of the average of $6, according to a TLC presentation to be introduced during a meeting Thursday. The $45 flat fare, plus tolls, to JFK airport would plunge by one-third.


Mayor Michael Bloomberg pushed for the plan, which will be tested for one year, to decrease pollution and build on the cab sharing that took place during the 2005 transit strike, Daus said.


Up to four riders could board one cab in the group-ride scenario. Currently, the average is 1.4 passengers per trip, the TLC said.


The programs look to increase cab availability while making rides cheaper. The TLC said drivers would benefit from more revenue because of the steadier stream of trips and multiple fares.


The programs would be open to all drivers, the TLC said.



Source: AM - New York

May 27, 2009

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