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Old Posted Jul 24, 2008, 12:20 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bronx, NYC
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Taxi Drivers, Councilmen Demand $1 Fuel Surcharge

July 23, 2008

Several City Council members joined taxi drivers in their fight for some financial relief from rising fuel costs Wednesday.

Lawmakers are urging the Taxi and Limousine Commission to reconsider a $1 fuel surcharge, which was shot down earlier this year.

They say it will help offset high gas prices, which prevent some drivers from paying their monthly lease fees.

"Nobody wants to ask drivers and the general public to pay more,” said Democratic Queens Councilman John Liu. “But the reality is that these gas prices are through the roof. The TLC will say the current rates already reflect some kind of inflation factor for fuel prices. But yet nobody expected inflation to be 100 percent."

"This gas price is just killing us -- all the drivers and all the 5 percent we're paying to all the brokers, and the companies,” said taxi driver Parvinder Singh. “And this fuel surcharge we definitely need now. We have it in 30 cities in the U.S. Why not us?"

Drivers are also asking to TLC to prohibit increases in their lease payments.

In response to calls for the surcharge, TLC Commissioner Matthew W. Daus said, "We looked at the issue carefully, balancing all of the variables – including the industry's overall health, driver earnings and a surcharge's potential negative impact on passengers and ridership – and believe that a surcharge is not warranted."

Daus said he's discussed the matter with the TLC's Board of Commissioners, and that the agency will "continue to monitor the situation closely."
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