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Taxi Fare Hike On Ice?

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 12, 2008 10:50PM

2008_12_12_cab.jpgAfter all that huffing, puffing, and striking, it turns out cab drivers may not get that fare hike they've been after all this time.

Norma Reyes, commissioner of the city's newly merged Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Services, said Thursday that circumstances have changed in the weeks and months since she promised to push through Chicago's first cab fare hike in four years.

Three factors determine whether a fare hike is warranted: gas prices, lease rates and the cost of living. Two out of three are either way down or frozen since the 11.7 percent fare hike of 2005.

"Gas prices are lower today than they were when cabdrivers received a fare increase in May of 2005. In our area, they're about 50 cents [a gallon] lower," Reyes said after her City Council confirmation hearing.

"Lease caps have not increased in over 14 years. Now, the cost of living obviously has changed [by 10.5 percent]. I will continue to work with the industry and look at it. We need to look at those three factors and weigh it and make sure that we're addressing the needs of the drivers and the consumers," she said.

Reyes stressed she wasn't ruling out a fare hike completely, but with gas prices almost half of what they were a year ago, odds are currently against it. [S-T]

Photo by Skelly B