Taxi fares may be changing due to economy
taxi300.jpg
Taxi fares are on the agenda for Tuesday's Wilmington City Council meeting. Taxi drivers want to increase the meter rate by one dollar to help compensate for these tough economic times. That means right off the bat, a rider would see three dollars on the meter, instead of the current two dollar base fee. City Council will also consider taking away the one dollar fuel surcharge that was implemented back when gas prices were extremely high. Wilmington City Council’s Kristi Tomey said, "One of the things I would like to see would be a universal rate system for the city, the county, and the airport. And we don't have that today. If you get in a cab at the airport, that charge will be different than if you get in that cab downtown or at Carolina Beach." As the rate stands now, drivers in Wilmington charge a two dollar drop rate, a dollar fuel surcharge, then a 35 cent charge for every one-sixth of mile.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

To all you people whining about cab fares..........go buy a car, register it, pay for insurance, pay tax on it, keep the oil changed, keep good tires on it, pay to have it fixed when it breaks down. Get my drift? I was a mechanic for Wilmington's major cab company for several years. I know first hand what it costs to keep these cars/vans on the road. Each cab driver, especially night drivers, work every day, risking being robbed, injured or even killed to get your sorry behinds to and from where you want to go because most of you have lost your license to drive. In my opinion, the cabies don't make near enough for the service they provide and risks they take. Go buy a moped. No license required.
I owned a taxi company for a number of years in another town but all city transportation laws are pretty much the same. Taxi companies have considerable expenses to pay. The NC Insurance rates for taxis are astronomical. Back in the 90's, the rates were $2600 per year per cab and that was just liability. If your vehicle was under loan, it was even more. There are permits, business licences, inspection fees. One of the biggest expenses is vehicle repair. Then of course, you must pay your drivers. The greatest expense is usually fuel. There is also the maintenace on the meters, dispatch fees, taxi stand rental, etc. None of these above listed expenses have decreased since the economy started tanking. In fact, most of them have increased. Yes, gas is down to a certain extent but it is a volatile commodity and turns on a dime. Another factor is that as the economy has worsened, there are less people riding in cabs due to job loss or not having as much disposable income with which to go out. Taxi driving is a business. They must make a profit like every other business or they will not stay in business. In most cities, the city council sets the taxi rates. And when they are raised or lowered, it also cost the taxi owner a fee to get the meter recalibrated to that price. It may take a days worth or more of fares just to realize enough of a profit to cover that fee. Hopefully this explains things somewhat. The next time you take a taxi, just remember that a huge chunk of the money you are handing over is going to cover expenses.
Here's an idea: Let the cab company charge whatever they want. Then let the free enterprise system work. If you can't afford a cab, either take the bus, get a friend to drive you, walk, ride your bike, or stay home.
Here's another idea, if you are going to let them set their own rates, then don't limit the number of taxis with a quota. Let anyone that wants to operate them.
In a college/party town whose economy trives on tourism and good times, can anyone explain why the bus/mass transit system is a complete and total joke? Why isn't there a 24 hour bus line, running just up and down Market and Carolina Beach rd? I suppose that I didn't consider DWI's into our local economy, no doubt they account for 70% of this town's revenue. Downright pathetic.
When gas prices were spiking to $4, these guys raised their rates astronomically. You'd call them and there would already be $3 on the meter to, 'compensate them for coming to get you'. Well gas prices have fallen off and not only did they not drop their rates - but are now proposing to further increase...get stuffed, y'all got your last dollar outa me!
are you retarded your city sets the fairs? the cab co. tried to take off the dollar the only one in town wich was kats taxi an was told by city they cant do that? if you are that poor ride the bus!!

that's not true shak actually tried raising the amount i remember him going around and trying to rally all the cab company's to try and raise the fare.

there was a meeting held at perkins at the time.

at the time i didn't go because i thought the price hike was bs and would affect tips .

Add another dollar surcharge for "tough economic times"? Sure!!! Why not, my company just gave me a $10.00/hr raise for these tough economic times. NOT!!! A bailout for the cab industry, huh? This takes the cake and is the kind of greedy mentality that got us here in the first place. Lose the dollar surcharge for high fuel prices and lose the dollar for "tough economic times". At 35 cents per 1/6th mile (whoever came up with that silly rate callout) equals $2.10/mile. No wonder it cost me 35 dollars for a ride to the airport in a nasty smoked up, worn out van. No more if I can help it! I refuse to support businesses that act in this manner.

No where in Wilmington should cost $35.00 to get to the airport unless you called an unpermitted taxi. Many of us do not allow smoking and some taxis are less than 3 years old.... research our company like you would anyone else you would hire.

As people are loosing their jobs, can't pay motgages, CAR PAYMENTS, and food and clothes for their families. The blood suck sucking taxi cab companies want to raise rates again. I can't tell u the times I have called for a cab and have had show an hr after said arrival time. Gas prices are dow and these guys are trying to grt every nickel and dime. Lets raise our DWI rate to be the highest in the state because joe shmo can't afford to take a cab from the bar. Or someone out of work with no car can't afford to get around. way to help out blood suckers. Also props to the Post Master General for the stamp raise