• Hoboken Taxi Cab Fares Are Going Up to $8 — Here’s What You Need to Know

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    The most observant of Hobokenites might have noticed a very small and inconspicuous sign near the Hoboken PATH station recently. According to this new signage — which is posted next to the Hoboken PATH taxi station — taxi cab fares were to increase to $8 as of July 8th with a pickup anywhere in Hoboken {and $7 from NJT/PATH in Hoboken}. The date of the increase has since been changed to July 15th, 2019. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about this increase in taxi cab fare.

    hoboken taxi fare increase

    What We Know So Far 

    A local Hoboken representative confirmed with Hoboken Girl via email that taxi drivers actually made the request themselves. The request was then reviewed by the City Council, where we’re told it was unanimously approved.

    There will be $8 flat rate off the street in Hoboken city limits {which used to be $6}, and $1.00 per additional passenger. There will also be a $2 increase from $5 to $7 for riders entering at the PATH station cab line.

    While answering a request for comment from Hoboken Girl, Communications Manager Vijay Chaudhuri told us in an email that the City does not make any money off of this increase.

    Hoboken Girl also reached out to Councilman Mike DeFusco for comment. Through email, DeFusco said:

    “Taxi cabs continue to face increased competition from ride-sharing service not only in Hoboken but across our country. An $8 in-town rate is comparable to pricing one would pay when taking Uber or Lyft and allows city taxi drivers to collect a comparable fare and make a livable wage.”

    Sources say that the local taxicab business was struggling and cab drivers felt like they needed to raise the prices in order to stay afloat — a theory DeFusco seems to confirm.

    hoboken taxis

    Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher weighed in on the price change via the Hoboken Girl Facebook group saying:

    “Ever since I have lived here [25 years in 3 days] there was always cab sharing and it seems like the price has never really changed. I take them from the PATH to support them and don’t mind sharing as it is what I have always been used to. But, what I told the head of the Taxi Union after a council meeting who had expressed concerns about the impact of Lyft and Uber, is that the local taxis are just not competitive in terms of service. I have lived uptown since 2000 and to get a cab I have to call for one. And when I most need one is typically when others do too which means I often don’t get through at all and if I do, they tell me five minutes which may be five minutes or maybe 20. This whole requirement fails in comparison to the ease of an app to call Lyft or Uber. The local taxes are not at all a reliable source of transportation for UPTOWN residents but I would happily choose them over Lyft and Uber for no other reason than they are local businesses if they offered a competitive service.”

    Transportation in Hoboken

    It makes sense given the surge in local transportation options in recent years. Many transport options are cheaper and frankly, more exciting. For example, now that Lime e-scooters have come to the Mile Square, more people seem to be trying them out instead which in turn, could affect taxi usage.

    “With the increasing competition of scooters, bikes, and ride shares I really don’t understand how they think they will be able to remain competitive,” said Allie Ehrhart in the Hoboken and Jersey City Guide Facebook group.

    Another resident, Ekaterina Andreyev Royzen, weighed in, saying that “Between Uber, Lyft, scooters, bike sharing, and mopeds, this price hike is begging for residents to take any mode of transportation other than a taxi.”

    As the use of e-scooters increases, it will create more competition to, hopefully, drive the taxi prices back down below $8. “Also we need to make the scooters permanent as more competition will drive prices down,” resident Mark Dinger said in the above Facebook group.

    See More: E-Scooters in Hoboken: The Rules, Regs, and Riots

    Other Taxi Services 

    “[I] stopped taking yellow cabs years ago when I couldn’t deal with getting yelled at when I asked to go solo,” says Dorian Cattani, a Hoboken resident for the past 18 years. “Even with the sign that was there stating you could request solo rides. Not sure if a sign is there anymore… Would rather walk than take those cabs.”

    Not to mention, Uber and Lyft are fan-favorite options for people carpooling because they’re often faster + cheaper and easy to use. Both these car services have a convenience factor, as users book a ride through the mobile app and it automatically charges a credit or debit card. It’s also possible to rate drivers — car quality, speed, and professionalism, to name a few.

    While no specific stats were available for Uber or Lyft usage in Mile Square specifically, Uber has somewhere near 48 million users as of 2018 and employs almost 4 million Uber drivers. Not to mention, the average car ride from the PATH to say, the end of town at 14th Street is usually around $7.63 for an Uber Pool, depending on surcharges and other factors {like time of day, if it’s a holiday, etc}.

    For the most part, Hoboken Ubers usually arrive in no more than five to seven minutes. Unsure how much an Uber would cost for your ride? Check out Uber Estimator to plug in your ride.

    “I only take a cab if I am coming from the PATH station at night, but find myself taking Uber more and more,” says Ashley Curatolo, who has lived in Uptown Hoboken for five years. “With a price increase making them more aligned with Uber/Lyft costs, I will absolutely be choosing Uber/Lyft over the cabs now.”

    Curatolo continues, “The cabs are falling apart, drivers are rude, do not let you ride alone {and if you request to, they are nasty and don’t want to drive you}, and they don’t accept credit cards.”

    Taxis + Credit Cards 

    hoboken taxi fare spike

    Not accepting credit cards seems to be a big point of contention for a lot of locals. It could also explain the decline of people using cabs and opting for car services in the first place. After all, the convenience factor of Uber and Lyft is significant especially since not everyone carries cash on them nowadays.

    “If they took credit cards and not just cash, I would use cabs regardless of this spike,” says Alexis Christine. “But I never have cash so [I] never will take them.”

    “Hoboken cabs do not offer a way to pay with a credit card and also force you to share rides with other people being picked up at the PATH,” says Veronica Domenchello, who has lived in Hoboken for eight years. “If Hoboken cabs accepted credit cards and did not force you to share rides, I would be more inclined to ride in one even if Uber/Lyft is the same rate.”

    Bicycles vs. Taxi

    With Hoboken being as small as it is, bicycling is also a popular option among residents. Often times, it’s even a transport method that the City encourages. After all, biking is better for the environment, bike parking is more readily available than car parking spots, it’s convenient, and is considered a healthy aerobic exercise. That likely contributes to fewer and fewer people opting for cabs.

    Read More: A Guide to Riding a Bike in Hoboken + Jersey City

    According to the City’s website, bike parking capacity has increased by more than 50% since 2009 and as of 2019, exceeds 1,000 bikes. Biking is so popular in the Mile Square that the City even installed the first-ever self-service bike repair station on the East Coast back in 2011.

    That same year, Hoboken passed an ordinance designating an additional 10 miles of Hoboken streets with striped Class II bike lanes. With so many people opting for bicycles, it means Hoboken is becoming greener and greener; but it could also mean a significant decline in the number of people taking cabs.

    The Hop Bus 

    Not to mention, representatives of the Mile Square announced earlier this year that the Hop Bus would offer completely free transportation around town as part of their slew of new 2019 parking initiatives. The thought process behind the move was to ultimately reduce traffic around town. With more people taking the bus, the fewer people will {theoretically!} be driving around town and the more parking spots will be open for people visiting or other drivers that need parking.

    The Struggling Taxi Business

    hoboken taxi fare rates

    Put all of these various above options together and well, it makes sense that cab drivers are struggling to stay in business.

    “I mainly take cabs only from the PATH and only choose to take them because they are much cheaper than Uber and Lyft,” adds Domenchello. “With the increase, the price will be more comparable with Uber and Lyft if it’s not surging and those [car] services are much nicer in my opinion than the Hoboken cabs.”

    Nicole Rocanello, a 10-year resident of Uptown Hoboken, remembers a time when Hoboken’s taxis were much less. “When I first moved to Hoboken, the yellow cabs were just $5. Now you have to pay $1 for an extra person even if you are going to the same stop. I live Uptown and don’t like how the cabs only pick you up from the PATH.”

    It seems the fare hike is also affected residents of Jersey City who sometimes need to rely on transportation from Hoboken.

    “Not sure what the hike will be to Jersey City,” says Jenna Firshein, a 10-year resident of Jersey City. “But since Uber and Lyft equalized their pricing, I have been taking yellow cabs from the PATH. They know exactly where to go and listen to directions, so why not pay the same or even less now.”

    Rocanelllo adds, “I wish they were more like NYC cabs and then I think more people would take them.”

     

    How do you feel about the raise in cab fares?

    Let us know in the comments!


    Written by:

    Steph Osmanski is a freelance writer who specializes in sustainability and health and wellness content. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.


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