| January 18, 2011

Consumers accrue more credit debt on cab fares

Consumers took steps to get their credit card debt under control in 2010, cutting the number of delinquencies to lenders and using more alternative options for regular payments.

Despite these trends, a new report indicates New York City residents and visitors used their credit cards more often to pay cab fares.

According to analysis from the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, cab passengers used credit cards to make 36 percent of each day’s cab fare payments. This represented an almost 10 percent increase from 2009, when the daily average was only 25.6 percent.

In addition, each of these swipes was for an average of $11.71, nearly a dollar more than the average ride a year ago, the Post reports. Despite this, consumers were getting less for their dollar from the city’s drivers. The average time of a trip declined by about a minute, while the distance of rides increased slightly in 2010.

However, taxi drivers benefited from the increase, as their average gratuity total rose during the year. Consumers looking to avoid card use when traveling in or visiting the city should make sure to visit an ATM prior to their arrival, or use a low cost alternative such as the subway.

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