Philadelphia taxi drivers want cash for short rides

Philadelphia taxi drivers and owners are divided over a proposal only to accept credit cards for fares $10 or more.  The Philadelphia Parking Authority is considering imposing the $10 minimum for putting that fare on plastic.

Jeff Hornstein is Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Taxi Association, an owners group.  He says a minimum will hurt business.

“I believe that it will dissuade younger riders from getting in cabs, for example the hundreds of thousands of students that don’t carry cash around in this city,” said Hornstein.

Ronald Blont represents taxi drivers as part of the Taxi Workers Alliance of Pennsylvania.  He says transaction fees mean cabbies can’t afford to accept credit cards for a $5 fare.

“Drivers are paying $50 for gas, they are spending $70 to $75 a day to rent the cab and they are spending five to 10 percent for credit card transactions,” said Blont.  “Drivers are coming home after 12 hours making $35 to $50 a shift, that’s immoral.”

The Philadelphia Parking Authority, which regulates cabbies, says the idea is under “legal review.”

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