If your taxicab driver paused an extra second before honking after the light turned green, you can thank the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission. And if you notice that the cab's meter is moving faster than usual and you're paying an extra dollar for your journey, you can also thank the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission. The commissioners decided last month to hike the charge for traffic "wait time" from the current 20 cents a minute to 40 cents a minute. "Walk next time you're stuck in traffic," a driver in the holiday spirit told me Wednesday night.
Welcome to New York City where the Taxi and Limousine Commission decides who can drive a taxi and how much he may charge for the ride. It's no small industry that the TLC controls: According to the New York City Taxicab Fact Book published by Schaller Consulting, in 2005 there were more than 241 million passengers and a total revenue of more than $1.8 billion for the taxicab industry.