Traditionally cab companies have waited for a few months after a meter increase to implement a gate increase so that their drivers could a make a little extra money but John Lazar, President and General Manager of Luxor cab, isn't one to stand on custom. He's calling for a gate surcharge the instant the meter raise goes into effect.
Lazar and some other company owners argue that they need more money in order to provide services like computerized dispatch. But companies like Luxor have been relieved of millions of dollars worth or credit card charges that are already being passed onto the drivers.
In addition, taxi companies have also had two gate increases of $5 and $7.50 since the last meter hike.
The $7.50 is supposed to help cab companies cover the extra charges of purchasing hybrid cars. However the price of hybrid vehicles declined to the point where the cost was about equal a few years ago. And, although hybrid prices have gone up again, the difference is only $2,000 or $3,000.
Time for a little math:
- $7.50*2 per shift = $15 per day *365 = $5,475 per year.
- This means that this surcharge pays the companies from $15,000 to $18,000 over life of the vehicle.
- If the car is new - subtract the $3,000 extra cost of the hybrid from the surcharge and you can see that companies are making $12,000 to $15,000 per cab off the last $7.50 gate levy.
- Owners like Lazar, who buy their cars used, are basically paying for the entire cost of the cabs simply from this hybrid jack up.
This is a big word. My dictionary defines it as "not right or reasonable, excessive, wrong, unethical, unfair."
All of which accurately describes taking a much needed wage raise away from drivers - in terms of both a gate increase and credit card charges - and giving it to taxi companies who've already taken more than enough relief.