NYC Taxi commission announces start of 'group rides'
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Let the fare sharing begin.
On Friday, taxis will begin rolling out "group ride" rates, where passengers can share a cab with a stranger for steep discounts.
Like a bus route, the yellow cabs will have designated start and drop-off locations and will operate during the morning rush hours, from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
This is one in a series of taxi overhauls planned by outgoing Taxi and Limousine Commission chief Matt Daus.
Later this year, riders should be able to actually hail certain types of cabs that may already be carrying passengers — known as "ride sharing" — in exchange for easily splitting the fare.
Those cabs will have some kind of sign designating which neighborhood the cab is going to, so people can determine whether they want to hop in or not.
As for the group rides, the cabs will depart from the following locations at 6:00 a.m. on Friday:
* W. 57th St. and Eighth Ave. with dropoffs allowed on Park Ave. between 57th St. until 42nd St.
* W.72nd St. and Columbus Ave. with dropoffs on Park Ave. from 72nd St. to 42nd St.
* E. 72nd St. and Third Ave. with dropoffs on Park Avenue from 72nd St. to 42nd St.
To qualify for the discount, there has to be more than one person in the cab. The prices per person are $3, $4, and $4, respectively, and each passenger can pay with a credit card or cash.
Once a group ride has begun, extra passengers can’t be picked up along the way.
"The concept really boils down to: take less money out of passengers’ pockets, put more money in drivers’ pockets, put less pollution in the air, and give passengers more transportation options," Daus said.
"What’s not to like?" he added.
To speed up the trip, TLC officials encouraged riders to pay the driver en route.
On Monday, the television screen in the back of each taxi cab will begin airing a public service announcement explaining the group rides.