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Costly cabs

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | News | August 25th, 2008

London's taxi industry is asking the public pay an additional 20 per cent on their already highly priced cab fares. People who take the service daily may soon be feeling uneasy about the price hike, but they are not the only ones who will be in fumed with the news.

At the moment prices remain steady, but it may not be long before changes are made and prices soar once again. Negotiations are already being prepared and are set to go to council September 8, 2008 at a Public Participation Meeting.

Brett Stein, an official spokesperson for council's Environment and Transportation Committee is in favour of a hike in cab fares. He believes there is much needed safety measures we as a society need to take into consideration for those who risk their lives everyday taking us to where we need to go.

“The main reason this proposal is being put forth to council is none other than soaring gas prices, insurance reasons and the safety of the drivers,” admitted Stein.

Presently both the cabbies and the companies are unsure on how to feel about the 20 per cent increase. The London Taxi Association is not in approval with this new mandate. It is a going to be a huge adjustment and both feel it to be unfair for those who rely heavily on the service.

To date the rate is set at $3 the minute you enter the vehicle, and with the proposed 20 per cent increase the new rate will be set to $4.

Due to the fall in our economy, the taxi service is not as high in demand as it may have been previous summers. The hike in prices is simply a result of just that and other unexpected cost increases.

“It's a business that is being run. When the economy goes down, prices change and increases are made where ever best see fit,” added Stein.

If a person decides to go for a short five-kilometer ride (the approximate distance from Fanshawe College to the intersection at Richmond and Oxford the average rate would be $11.25. If the proposal of a 20 per cent hike is approved, that amount would jump to $14. If accepted, the public can start seeing this drastic change as early as October 2008.

As far as the security cameras being installed in every taxi go, that is going to take quite some time longer.

“Assuring every cab has a camera installed will be a lengthy process that requires patience and a good manufacturer,” said Stein.

The cost of living is at an all-time high; the last thing the public needs is additional expenses.
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