Wednesday, March 12, 2008

So About Those Cabbies And Credit Cards...

Remember last fall when New York City cab drivers were screaming and striking over the new GPS and credit card machines in their Crown Vics and Ford Escapes? I watched on pound the hood of one driver working during their so-called strike. Well anyways, their protest didn't do much except raise the fares for a couple days. Unfortunately a few of them went violent (and worse) on a few customers for using plastic in the following months. But hey, guess what, now they're happy about fares swiping their plastic.

From The Gothamist:

It seems that after months of threatening, chasing and punching passengers who insist on paying with plastic, some city cab drivers have come to love the new credit card devices, which will be in all taxis by the end of August. Their original objections were to the 5% transaction fee, but now drivers are reporting higher tips because of the way the machines display the tipping options.

One cabbie tells the Sun he’s earning $100 more a week since his machine was installed, bumping his weekly earnings into the princely $600 range. The new machines give riders the option of paying tips of 15%, 20% and 25%. And because business travelers prefer paying with plastic, taxi ridership has reportedly increased, especially since out-of-town trips don’t require riders to bring a wad of cash. Still, some drivers have yet to warm up to the changes; the Sun talks to another cabbie who hasn’t seen any increased revenue and grumbles that he has less cash at the end of the day because of all the plastic payments.

So all that fuss for nothing. It goes to show that if the cab drivers of New York want to strike, they should think twice and protest over something that could garner more empathy from those that count themselves as fares, like say, the treatment of cabbies, their hours and whatnot.