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Committee Passes Taxi Fare Increase, Larger Fine For Cell Phone Gabbin' Cabbies

By Sam Bakken in News on Apr 1, 2005 7:31PM

Old-Timey Taxi; Ain't It Quaint?It's Friday (read, "we're lazy, ready for the weekend and five cans deep into a sixer") so we're going to use the cliche lede that's surely spread over newspapers 'round the nation today: We wish it were an April Fool's joke, but it'ain't.

The City Council's Transportation Committee approved the taxi fare we've been whining about for a while. We know it's probably overdue, but that doesn't mean it won't cut into our beer money.

Here's a break down:

--Charge for entering a cab or the "flag-pull" will be $2.35 (up from $1.90)
--Charge per mile will be $1.80 (up from $1.60)
--A second passenger will cost $1.00 (up from $0.50—additional passengers will still be $0.50 each)

But commitee members also tacked on a steeper penalty for cab drivers that talk on cell phones (even hands-free devices) while transporting a passenger. Currently an offender can be charged $20 to $200 and suspended for up to five days. The increase will make the fine $50 to $750 and following a second complaint the driver could be suspended for 29 days.

The City Council will probably vote on the increases at their meeting next Wednesday.