What happens to the money you give a taxi driver is as follows :
The Taxi and Limousine Commission calculates that the average compensation for a taxi shift of 12 hours is $130 — (a figure I find surprising, since it is one I agree with, and it’s not often I agree with figures that the TLC releases, since they often seem to be cooked, in order to help the Commission make a point.)
$130 is also the approximate amount a garage takes from a driver for a 12-hour shift, and so, at the end of the average shift, driver and owner have an identical amount of money.
But don’t assume this is the end of the story.
There is the matter of gas, which, as of July 2012, comes to somewhere around $45 per shift.
What does this add up to?
$130 to the driver; $130 to the owner; $45 to a gas station.
For a total of $305 in an average shift.
The driver’s share is $130 divided by $305, or : 43% of the total. The owner gets the same (43%). The gas station gets 14%.
In other words, if the amount you give the driver is $10, the driver winds up with only $4.30 of that. The person or company who leased the car to him gets another $4.30. The gas company gets $1.40.
Or, to simplify : when you give a driver $10, gas companies and cab owners get around $6 of that; the driver gets 4.