Taxi drivers petition for higher fares

July 7, 2008 9:53:59 AM PDT
Record gas prices are causing cities throughout the country to impose taxi fuel surcharges. One East Bay community is now pushing for higher fares to offset their costs.

Gasoline is $4.55 a gallon now in Walnut Creek. Taxi cab drivers will tell you it's the cost of gas cut that is really cutting into their profits. They're trying to get relief and petitioning Walnut Creek city leaders to raise their meter rates.

Some taxi cab drivers say what they would like to see happen is get permission to raise the $2.50 a mile rate in place now to $3.50 a mile. If it happens, it makes taking a cab in Walnut Creek more expensive than in San Francisco. Some cab drivers argue that gas prices leave them with less money in their pockets.

Around the country, the cab companies in major cities are implementing temporary fuel surcharges instead of raising meter rates per mile. A customer ABC7 talked to on Monday said he would not use a cab in Walnut Creek, if rates jumped up a dollar per mile.

"I don't think that s reasonable at all. I mean, honestly, cabs were expensive before the gas prices got, what is it - $4.50 something right now? Nobody is going to want to pay that honestly. They might as well take public transit or drive their own vehicles. I mean either way, you lose, so what are you going to do?" said Ryan Houle, Walnut Creek.

Walnut Creek's Transportation Commission will have the final say on cab rates in this city. They will take a look and review the rates before the end of the summer. Meantime in San Francisco, they are planning to review, possible temporary fuel surcharge, but that is still under review.


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