90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW

Boston Cab Drivers Hope For Credit Card Compromise

The city of Boston requires cabbies to accept credit cards, but the drivers do so grudgingly, if at all. They complain that all the fees and technical problems associated with the card machines cut too deep into their already thin profit margins.

Boston taxi drivers met Wednesday with the companies that process their credit card charges, in an effort to smooth out all of the cabs-credit disagreements.

As Radio Boston reported earlier, for most types of trips Boston has the highest cab fares of any big city in North America. A lot of that is thanks to the regulatory hurdles Boston cab drivers have to deal with.

Still, many consumers are frustrated that fighting between Boston’s cab drivers and credit card companies means that it can be difficult to pay for a cab ride.

Radio Boston’s Adam Ragusea went down to the meeting to speak with Boston cab drivers.

More:


Other stories from this show:

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • http://southiecab.com Boston Cab

    Putting Credit Card machines in Boston taxis was a great idea. So was the “Big Dig” like the “big dig” this idea has been poorly implemented and all efforts undertaken by drivers to improve the system to our benefit have been rebuffed. Think about it is every driver in the city just being a jerk or is it that losing 6% on half our fares and waiting days to get the money is financially unsustainable for us?

    • Cabbiehater

       I’m so grateful to Uber. Death to customer unfriendly and greedy cab drivers!

  • Anonymous

    Sorry but I don’t buy the complaints of Boston hacks. Welcome to the 21st. century, it takes credit cards. What I understand is that the city raised fares to offset the creditcard fees, so I’ve no sympathy. Especially when half the time the cabbies try to claim the cc machine is busted (illegal btw see
    files.me.com/oinonio/l9zfde

    ), or they fail to drop the flag and pull a fast one. The other half the time they are going the longest route possible.

    • http://southiecab.com Boston Cab

      Again you are misinformed. The rate increase was to offset $4.00 a gallon gas. Again this rate increase was completely eaten up by $20 extra per shift rental fees for new NON hybrid cars and the driver paying 6% on half his business. I was there sir. I held signs picketing fighting for an increase for GAS. Nothing else. I lobbied city councilors etc etc for GAS money. When the regulations came out the city put in place all of this other nonsense without the consent or input of drivers or owners.

      In what other industry does the lowest level of employee pay out of pocket for upgrades to the industry? Most of us already did take credit cards. I have had a swipe in my car since 2001 but it was always my option to take it or not. Why would I take a credit card for a $5 ride? Why does the city ignore a federal law that allows merchants to set a $10 minimum for credit card purchases?

      Again. I wanted to take credit cards. Why did I only have a few companies to choose from that were charging 6%? Why are these companies allowed to have the additional revenue stream of annoying advertising on top of the 6%?

      • Anonymous

        Well, you’ve cause for complaint, then with the city about the swipe machines. But putting folks out and forcing ‘em to pay cash is only exacerbating an already negative image, and you have to face folks are using cash less and less. All-in-all taxis in Boston seem to sub-par quality, and more expensive than other cities, with a whole lot more cheating attempted.

        I see you’re a Southie Cab, so I’ve never ridden your cabs.

        How about using https://squareup.com/ or intuit as a stopgap for when the swipe machines truly break?

        • http://southiecab.com Boston Cab

          You don’t think we have tried to reason with the city? Detail our complaints again and again? Blog about them? They don’t care. Yes the device you pointed to is great. I have something similar. Why can’t I use that all the time and pay a smaller % and get paid faster? Why is it that I am forced to use one of a few politically connected companies who charge usury rates, take forever to pay me and force me to listen to ads?

          Sir you took the time to come on here and discuss this. Could you please take the time to ask your local representative to intervene in the situation and force Boston Hackney to deal with us? The meeting that was held yesterday was held 3 previous times.. nothing gets done. Why?

          • Anonymous

            I’ll look into. I see that the system’s creaky and allowing bad apples to run amok while good cabbies get the short end of the stick.

Hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks introduce us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and bring us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3.

  • Listen: Weekdays, 3 p.m. on 90.9 FM
  • Live Call-In: (800) 423-TALK
  • Listener Voicemail: (617) 358-0607
Most Popular
This site is best viewed with: Firefox | Internet Explorer 9 | Chrome | Safari