Skift Take

Another decision in favor of NYC taxi drivers after a 17 percent fare hike this summer showing the city’s efforts to give drivers a fair shot at lucrative fares each day. Luckily this one doesn’t affect passengers’ wallets.

The Short Return Program for taxis leaving from John F. Kennedy or LaGuardia Airport was expanded to two hours from 90 minutes last week. Taxis with a “shortie” ticket are able to bypass the central taxi hold to pick up passengers that are traveling to the outer boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Drivers will be able to make up for the much lower fares on these short trips by being able to fit in more trips without a long wait to the terminal. Drivers taxiing riders back and forth to Manhattan must wait in the central taxi hold on each trip for the more lucrative fares.

cab rank

Taxis to Manhattan have to wait over two hours in a central taxi hold before getting to the terminal. Photo by Pierre LaScott.

“The Port Authority and Taxi and Limousine Commission agreed that taxi drivers should be given a ticket to bypass the central taxi hold and get right back on the terminal where there are only five or six cabs instead of hundreds,” explains Allen Fromberg from the TLC.

The Short Return Area for LaGuardia was expanded to include the entire borough of Brooklyn with the addition of Williamsburg and Greenpoint. It also includes the entire Borough of Queens and ten neighborhoods of the Bronx. The Short Return Area for JFK includes all of Queens, Brooklyn, and five neighborhoods of Long Island.

“Shortie trips” have been in existent for many decades and the 30 minute extension gives drivers a wider window of time to return to the terminal. The new rule has no effect on passengers besides a happier cab driver on short trips home from the airport.

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Tags: jfk, lga, nyc, taxis

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