The Unlikely Savior Of NYC Cabs

Private industry often points to governmental regulations as a source of added expense that makes them less competitive. In this case, NYC's requirement two years ago that taxis accept credit cards has resulted in growth in ridership and revenue.
November 9, 2009, 6am PST | Irvin Dawid
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Paper or plastic? Cabbies dreaded the idea of being forced by a new city regulation to accept plastic, but lo and behold, their customers like it, and its tips as well as more fares.

"Overall ridership and revenue have increased. More and more fares are being paid with credit cards, even for shorter rides. And tips for drivers, usually an early casualty of tough times, are up sharply, double over the pre-plastic days."

Interestingly, NYC was actually late in coming to requiring plastic. However, unlike other cities, like LA, the city "pioneered a customer-friendly system that required no signed receipts, no minimum payment and an interactive device that let passengers swipe the card and add tips themselves."

Consequently, unlike most other cities (including LA), "revenues have risen about 13 percent from the end of last year, according to data collected by the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission. And tips, which hovered around 10 percent when cab rides were cash only, averaged 22 percent on credit-card transactions this fall."

Thanks to Mark Boshnack

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Published on Sunday, November 8, 2009 in The New York Times - N.Y/Region
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