Buckle up, riders. The leading taxi drivers’ organization will formally petition the city for a fare increase.

Taxi and Limousine Commission Chairman David Yassky said the request would be considered, expressing some empathy for cabbies socked with high gas prices.

“When gas hits $4.50 a gallon, it can make it hard for a driver to pay the rent and put food on the table,” Yassky said when asked about the impending fare-hike request. “We will give it a look and evaluate it on the merits.”

The last fare hike was nearly seven years ago.

Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said her group wants the per-mile metered rate to increase from $2 a mile to $2.50. The group also wants a 10-cent rate increase – from 40 cents per minute to 50 cents – for when cabs are stuck or moving slowly in traffic.

The group was not seeking increases in other components of taxi fares: an initial “drop” fee of $2.50 tacked on the start of every trip, a mass transit tax and night surcharge.

The largest organization of fleets last year petitioned for a fare hike and TLC approval to raise what fleets charge cabbies to lease taxis, but the chairman never brought it to the commission for a vote.

Desai said the drivers’ petition would be given to the TLC next week.

“It’s not a huge increase,” she said.

In addition to higher gas prices, drivers are paying more to lease cars from fleets.


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