05/22/2012 10:23 am ET

New York City Cab Fares Could Go Up 20 Percent

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission has agreed to hear a proposal on May 31 to raise cab fares 20 percent. According to The Times, "Such hearings are almost never scheduled unless the taxi commission is seriously considering a fare increase."

A 20 percent hike would mean that an average taxi ride of 2.76 miles would cost $14.18, up from the current price of $11.82, according to Capital New York. A $45 ride to JFK Airport would be bumped to $54.

The TLC hasn't raised prices on taxi rides since 2006, and cabbies think its high time they earn a fair fare.

"Really long overdue. All the gas prices and other things going up, we need a fare hike,” Kwame Obeng told CBS.

And Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance said, "In real numbers, drivers, after laboring 60- to 70-hour work weeks, with no health care, no disability, no kind of benefit at all, are still earning less today than they did six years ago."

TlC Commssioner David Yassky wasn't surprised by the call for a fare hike. "The fare hasn't changed since 2006, so it is reasonable for taxi drivers and fleet owners to put this on the table."

2012 has proved a rough year for yellow cab drivers and the fare hike could prove some relief.

The Taxi of Tomorrow was unveiled, which was many drivers disliked. Also, the livery cab street hail plan was given the green light, allowing livery cabs to pick up fares on the side of the street in Upper Manhattan and the outer boroughs, increasing competition for yellow, medallion-owning cab drivers.