NYC yellow taxis launch a permanent 50% discount during rush hours

November 15, 2018

Photo via Flickr cc

Good news for outer borough commuters: Starting today, yellow taxi ride fares into Manhattan during the morning and evening rush hours will be 50 percent off for those using Waave. The permanent discount is available from 6am to 10am and from 5pm to 8pm daily. As 6sqft previously reported, Waave — an app approved by the Taxi & Limousine Commission — launched citywide in September with the aim of providing New Yorkers the convenient features of popular ride-hail apps, including an upfront fare, surge-free pricing and an estimated time of arrival.

Photo via Waave

The new discount is not just a way to stay competitive with Uber and Lyft, it’s also intended to address an under-the-radar transit issue. An estimated 8,000 yellow taxis drive from outer borough garages into Manhattan for their morning and evening shifts, but without passengers, those vehicles end up clogging the city’s thoroughfares without making a profit. “It’s always been nearly impossible to pick up a hail before driving into Manhattan,” explains Brooklyn-based cab driver Augie Tang. “Now we can finally connect with passengers during what was once the least profitable portion of any taxi driver’s shift.”

Along with this discount, the city is looking into other ways of supporting its taxi drivers, who have had a pretty grim year. Earlier this month driver Roy Kim took his own life, presumably due to financial issues, marking the eighth driver suicide of the past year. In response, the City Council announced today that a new task force will be created to study the devaluation of New York City’s taxicab medallions, which have lost as much as 90 percent of their worth since 2013, as amNY reports. “This tragedy underscores the importance of finding new ways for government, the industry and lenders to work in unity to address the financial challenges that are weighing so heavily on our licensees,” said TLC chairwoman Meera Joshi in a statement. “Modifying, restructuring and lowering loans would go a long way in providing relief and keeping taxi services available to New Yorkers for years to come. We are heartened by the City Council’s substantive efforts, both past and pending, to help us support our licensees through this terribly difficult time.”


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